Are you planning to do some college visits soon, but not sure how to make the most of your time on campus? As a student, you should visit any school that you are seriously considering. Visiting a college will help you get a feel for what you like (and don’t like) about a campus. You may have a couple top colleges on your list, and a college visit could help reinforce which school is “the one” for you.
When to go:
The best time to schedule a visit is during the spring of junior year or fall of senior year. These time frames can help you narrow your college lists. It is crucial that you visit campus while school is in session. An empty campus does not have the same atmosphere, so try not to schedule your visit during the summer, on a weekend, or over Spring Break.
What to do:
Your itinerary should include an official campus tour. Call the admissions office and schedule your tour. This is preferable to just dropping-in unannounced. If you are interested in particular sports or programs on campus, let the admissions office know, and they can try to schedule interviews with those members of the faculty or staff. Call at least two weeks in advance to schedule your visit.
By scheduling a tour through the admissions office, you are showing the school demonstrated interest. “Demonstrated interest” is a term used by college admissions officials to measure a student’s sincere interest in attending that school. Today, it is easy for students to apply online to multiple schools. However, good test scores, impressive extracurricular activities, and a stellar GPA might not be enough to guarantee an acceptance letter. Students need to show that they are truly interested in attending that school. Read more about demonstrated interest here: http://www.tutortestprep.com/blog/how-can-a-student-improve-their-chancesof-being-accepted-into-their-top-college-choices-by-showing-demonstrated-interest
In addition to the official tour, you may also want to take some time to venture out on your own. The official campus tour will take you to the best-looking, most impressive places on campus. Make sure you scope out the other areas, too. Visit the library and dining hall, and any other place at which you think you’ll spend a lot of time. Plan to spend at least half a day on campus.
Take notes: After you visit several campuses, things start to blur together. Make sure you take notes about what you liked and did not like about the school. Also, take a few photos of things around campus. These will help jog your memory in a few weeks or months, when you are narrowing down your list.
Talk to students and ask questions: Try to seek out some students (other than the school ambassador giving you the tour). Ask questions about the campus culture and the classes. Find out if professors are happy to teach there and if the students are happy to be learning there. Ask about dorm life, social events, academic support, etc.
You may want to consider a few other activities while you are visiting:
-An overnight stay
-Eating at the dining hall
-Sitting in on a class in your preferred major
After you have narrowed down your college list to a manageable number, and you visit those campuses of your top schools, you will get a true feel for the best fit for you. If you need assistance developing a college list based on your academic achievements, financial situation, physical location, or any number of other criteria, contact us. We’re happy to help you find a best fit.