College Visits Tips

Visiting potential colleges is like test driving a car. The visit gets you behind the glossy brochure and gives a view of real campus life. Once you have done your research and narrowed your college choices, it’s time for the visit.
Tip #1 – Call ahead and schedule a visit. By calling ahead you can be assured the opportunity to speak with everyone on your list, admissions counselors, faculty members and career placement representatives.
Tip #2 – Create a measurement system so you can score the schools on a somewhat objective basis. This will also help in remembering what you liked and didn’t like about each campus. After a few visits, it will become more difficult to remember exact details. For example, on a scale of 1-10, what were the dorm rooms like?
Tip #3 – Take notes and take photos. Pictures will help you remember details you may not write down.
Tip #4 – Visit when classes are in session. Sit in on a class while you’re there.
Tip #5 – Visit several areas of the campus including admissions office, dorm rooms, cafeteria, student center, library, book store and athletic center.
Tip #6 – Visit the Career Center. Ask the students, how satisfied are you with the career center? As the counselor, how do you help the students with career selection and placement? What services do you offer? How many students are placed in their chosen career fields upon graduation?
Tip #7 – Talk to students on campus. Why did you choose this school? What do you like best? What do you like least?
Tip #8 – Email current students and faculty.
Tip #9 – Interview and admissions counselor, financial aid counselor and a faculty member. Be sure to take business cards in case you have questions later.
Tip #10 – Read the student newspaper.
Tip #11 – Look at the bulletin board. What activities are advertised? Do you see things you might be interested in doing?
Tip #12 – Stay over night in a dorm if possible and eat in the cafeteria.
When you leave campus, review your notes, rank the items that are important to you, and make any additional comments before the next visit.
Taking notes, photos and having an objective measurement system will help effectively evaluate the options.
Final tip – Have Fun!
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