YOUR CAMPUS VISIT
Visiting a prospective college can be a great help in choosing the right college. NO amount of brochures or videos can substitute for being there. The single most important aspect of a college campus is that it provides an atmosphere where you feel comfortable and believe you would be happy. Your happiness can have a great deal to do with your success. Your visit and the manner in which it is conducted can also tell the college some important things about YOU! Put your best foot forward.
- ALWAYS write or call ahead for an appointment. Specify whether you wish to have an interview, campus tour, classroom visitation, overnight accommodation or any combination of the above. Be PROMPT for your appointment, or call and explain your lateness.
- Do your homework. Don’t ask questions that can easily be answered by consulting college catalogs. That means looking over the college catalog so that you know something about the school before visiting.
- Show your genuine interest in the school. Concentrate your thinking on what you really want to know, rather than what you think you are expected to ask. If you don’t seem interested in them, why should they be interested in you? Be sure to question about any special interests you may have, whether academic or extra-curricular.
- If you have not yet applied to the school, take along an unofficial high school transcript and school profile, or be familiar enough with your high school record and test scores to talk comfortably about them.
- If possible, stay overnight on campus. You’ll learn more about what the students are really like and the atmosphere that would be your habitat all those hours when you’re not in class. This is the main argument against visiting on a weekend; it just is not typical day-to-day living.
- Ask to talk to students and professors. Be brave and have lunch at a dining hall. Talk to both freshman and upperclassmen to get a variety of options.
- Be sure to tour the residence halls. Find out what's available, including fitness centers, laundry facilities, study rooms, music practice rooms, and shops and stores. Have a meal on campus. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable living on this campus.
- Go to the student activities office to see what clubs and organizations are active. Ask a current student what he or she does at night and on the weekends. Explore community service activities. If you're interested in sports, find out what varsity, intramural, and club sports the college offers. Schedule an appointment with a coach if you have questions about a particular sport.
- Dress comfortably. The main criteria are neatness and cleanliness.
- Take notes. Keep track of the schools you visit, and note your impressions immediately, or you may forget later on.
- Write a thank you note. Good manners never go out of style.
- DON’T WAIT!! Don’t put off your college visits until it’s too late to fit them all in. Try to make your visits BEFORE you apply, so you can determine if you and the college are a good match.
- If you're unable to make a campus visit, call the admissions office and ask if a university representative will be visiting your high school, attending a college fair, or holding an informational meeting in your area.