Visiting campuses requires time, energy, and money. It’s an investment! Here are my four tips to make the most of your campus visit!
Tip #1: Research the School Before
Research the school beforehand on the school’s admissions and financial aid website, as well as third party sites like College Navigator and College Scorecard to gather information to ask more insightful questions particularly about the school. There have been times when I’ve sat down to talk to a student about admission, and they have asked such insightful questions I added that note to their admissions file because I was so impressed by their interest in the school. Asking insightful questions shows that you are interested and that you have taken the time to research the school.
Tip #2: Request an Academic Appointment
It’s a good idea to talk to some of the people who are going to be responsible for shaping your college years. If the admissions office helps arrange an academic appointment or class visit take them up on it! If not, reach out to the particular department that you are interested in and contact either the general office or if you are unsure of a major reach out to the department which specifically works with those students (it might be called an “exploratory major” or “undecided”).
Tip #3: Search the School’s Event Calendar
See what events are happening on campus. Perhaps, you have the flexibility to plan your day around an event which interests you — schedule your campus tour around that! If you do not have that kind of flexibility, check to see what’s happening on campus that afternoon or night of your scheduled visit. This can be a good way to gauge the social scene of the school and go to an event you are interested in. Most events on a college campus are free, however, if you find a large scale event and it doesn’t mention a public price you might want to call the department in charge to solicit a cost.
Tip #4: Attend an Information Session
These information sessions can offer helpful information about the school, admissions requirements, as well as the area the school is located in. These sessions can also provide insider information that might not be readily available on a website. Additionally (as a fringe benefit) you have an “in” to the school — a contact who you’ve met and had a commonality with. I would recommend getting a business card from that person or at least going up to introduce yourself, get the representative’s name, and look up his or her contact information on the school’s website later.
Do you have any tips to make the most your campus visit? Let me know in the comments below!