Make the Most of Your College Campus Visit

Make the Most of Your College Campus Visit
  • Opening Intro -

    High school seniors still undecided about their choice of college can make their decision during spring break.

    That week-long respite from school typically takes place in March or April, enabling students to finalize their college choices before the usual May 1 deadline.

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Here’s what you need to know about making the most of your college campus visit.

1. Pick your schools. Chances are you have three or four schools that you want to see, including those that have already accepted you. Visit only those schools you’re absolutely interested in, removing the rest from your list. Time is of the essence here: you don’t want to rush from campus to campus and miss something.

2. Make an appointment. Sure, you can tour most college campuses without an appointment, but then you may miss out on an opportunity to receive a personal tour. Some colleges provide mobile tours where you can follow along on your mobile device. Nearly all schools have guided tours of the campus, taking prospective students behind the scenes to locations they may not be aware of. Choose the tour that allows you to ask questions and get answers.

3. Schedule an interview. Let the college know that you’re on campus by attending the tour, but don’t stop there: schedule an interview. An interview with an admissions staff member will help you clarify some points about the college. The interview is generally informational in nature, allowing you to learn how to transition from high school to college and get acclimated at the new school.

4. Take your time. Beyond the 60- to 90-minute official tour and the brief interview, there are more reasons to stay around. Head to the student center to apprise its layout. Observe how students interact. If you can get dorm access, take advantage of it. Find out where the students eat and buy a meal. Talk with students to learn more about their college experience. If possible, stay over night on campus in a dorm room without your parents present — they can stay in a nearby hotel room.

5. Write down notes. You won’t remember everything about your campus visit, so jot down certain points about what you see. This information can come in handy in your interview. Note taking can also serve as a tie-breaker when you’re back home, far away from the campuses, and trying to decide which of two schools is right for you.

Tour Considerations

Parents, of course, want to be involved with their children especially while on campus and far from home. Yet, if you are accompanying your son or daughter, give them some room to venture off on their own. He or she may want to sit in on a class, strike up a conversation with their peers or simply explore their surroundings. No worries about getting lost — your budding college student can contact you via cell phone.

See AlsoAbout Those Campus Overnight Visits

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Categories: College Search