I was involved with a USC admissions visit at a local Los Angeles high school, and the representative asked the junior and senior students how many had ever visited the campus. Surprisingly, only 20% had actually been to the campus, and these were students who had self-identified as being interested in applying to USC!
Parents, take your students and younger children to college campuses and events, not because you're doing "official college visits" or planning for college, but because knowledge and perspective are gained from being on a college campus, observing what students do, what fun activities are offered, what a campus looks and feels like, and envisioning your future self as a college student, all the elements that help a student to understand what college is all about ~ besides academics and getting a degree.
Do you know that most colleges and universities have a significant commitment to community engagement and offer a huge number of interesting and diverse experiences for children and families, many of which are absolutely free? These include: sporting events, performing arts, visual arts, notable speakers, book fairs, health fairs, food and restaurant nights, children's theater and concerts, planetariums, community gardens, and much, much more.