About Those Campus Overnight Visits
High school students still uncertain about their college choices may want to take advantage of an overnight stay arrangement offered by some schools. Such stays are typically for one night and may take place in the dorm room of someone that the prospective student knows that attends that school. Overnight stays can help you gain a closer look at on campus living and may help you decide whether to attend a particular college or university or not.
Permitting overnight stays is something more colleges and universities are allowing. California’s Pomona College, for example, permits high school students to stay one night provided that the request is made at least two weeks in advance of the requested date. The college restricts stays to certain weeks in the fall and spring semesters, and provides passes to dining halls, athletic facilities and libraries.
When making an overnight stay request, expect that you will be in the company of another student while staying on campus. At Haverford College, stays are limited to Monday through Thursday nights and notice must be given at least 10 days in advance. Stays are restricted to the spring semester and can begin no earlier than April 1. Prospective students to this Pennsylvania college must bring a sleeping bag, a pillow and a towel with them, but unlike Pomona, visitors are not required to know someone on campus.
Visiting a college at night and staying over can be advantageous. High school seniors will get a chance to sample dorm life and can discover how students interact with each other when classes are not in session.
Students can also attend classes, check out campus facilities and attending sporting events. A one night stay may not reveal all, but it can reveal much.
While an overnight stay can be revealing, it can also expose students to the unseemly side of college. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that one in six high school students staying overnight drank alcohol during their visit. That is something that may alarm parents, but drinking is a fact of life on many college campuses.
The Bottom Line
Certainly, an overnight visit to a college can help prospective students learn what they are getting themselves into if they choose a particular school. Given that daytime guided tours are usually orchestrated and limit what you will see and experience, one night of dorm living may tell you more than you ever expected to know.