Maximize Your College Visits
Hello Juniors! Spring and summer is the perfect time to visit college campuses in person. Online research and virtual events are great ways to begin learning about schools, but now is the time to connect with students and admission officers on campus. While many colleges are finally open to outside visitors, do your homework and plan ahead to research available visit options. Most schools require advanced registration online and will provide COVID protocol expectations.
Ready to get started? Head to the admission section of each school’s website and look for their visit options (campus tour, information session, interview, open house, etc.). There should be an online calendar with available dates/times from which to choose. Space may be limited, so register early. Once you are booked, here are some important tips to maximize your visits:
Early is on-time! Give yourself enough of a buffer to get to campus, find parking, and get to the Admission Office at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
Explore beyond the tour. Pick up the student newspaper, eat in the cafeteria, walk or drive around the surrounding neighborhood.
Ask questions. Be prepared to ask about things that are important to you (majors, sports, clubs, service organizations, greek life, internships, study abroad, etc.).
Take notes. Capture first impressions, in writing, after each visit - especially when visiting multiple schools in the same trip. A college visit notebook is a helpful tool.
Say thank you. Follow up with a handwritten thank you note, or email, to the admission officer who gave the information session or interview.
Listen to your gut. Avoid relying heavily on opinions others may have of the school. What did YOU think? Can you see yourself as part of that student body?
Do follow up research. Was there something you really liked, or thought was missing? Reach out to the admission office with questions, and follow their social media channels to stay connected.
With planning and preparation, campus visits will be a helpful tool in determining which schools are the right fit for you (and there is more than one “right” fit). Use this spring and summer to explore your options, and let your own research and impressions carry the most weight when finalizing your application list. Don’t rely on rankings and perceived “prestige” to guide you. Get on campus, make connections, and trust yourself to find communities where you can thrive.
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