College Visit Information
Contact college of your choice to ask about visits!
Know before you go!
Research the college. Contact the admission office or click on prospective students on the college website for more information. Talk to alumni, if possible.
Schedule your trip. Find out how often college tours run and if you have to sign up in advance. Get a map of the school before you go. This will save you time! If an interview is suggested, make an appointment. You might also want to meet with the financial aid advisor.
Take a camera and notebook. You may think you'll remember everything, but you'll be surprised how colleges start to merge after you've seen a few.
Understand what's important to you. Will you feel overwhelmed in a large lecture hall? Check out class size. Do you want to join a sorority or fraternity? See what the Greek system is like on campus. Is there a major you have your heart set on? Talk to current students or professors in that department.
What's so important about campus visits?
You can't judge a school by its brochure. To get a feel for the school, you need to walk around, sit in on a class, and visit the dorms.
Get answers to your questions.
- Are lecture halls large, or are the classes small and interactive.
- Is the food in the dining hall decent?
- Is there ample space in the dorms?
- What's the social life like?
- Does it revolve around the Greek system?
- What do the students wear?
- What's the diversity really like?
- Do I feel at home here?
- Is this what I pictured college to be?
- Does everyone go home on the weekends?
Get valuable information. Pick up any official material you see, such as brochures and financial aid forms. Get business cards so you'll have a real, live contact if you have questions about admission or financial aid. Look for student newspapers and activity calendars. Check out bulletin boards for upcoming activities.
Is this college right for you? Listen to your gut feeling. Do you feel comfortable walking around? Do you click with the students and faculty?
What if you can't visit a college campus?
Find the college online. You can locate loads of information about colleges using collegeboard.com's College Search. Submit your preferences and you'll receive a list of matching colleges.
Take a virtual tour. Most college Web sites have pictures and many have an interactive campus map. Others offer you simulations of their regular tour in which you're lead to different parts of the campus.
Contact current students or alumni. Most college sites allow you to contact people who really know the school. You can find a student or alumnus through the college's e-mail directory or white pages. Some sites even have live chat rooms for prospective students to talk to current students.
Find out academic information. Read a syllabus of the classes in which you are interested. Find the academic calendar.
Research policies and services. Find the campus handbook online. This will contain information about academic rules and conduct. Find the student services section. This will have information about housing, career planning, counseling, and financial aid.
Check out newspapers. Look at both the school's and the community's. You'll get a sense of issues, activities, safety, and even the local weather.
You determine what experience you'll have a college. You need to evaluate who you are, places you like, the activities you enjoy, and how well you adapt to new situations