Visiting a college is one of the strongest ways to show demonstration of interest. It is recommended that you do most of your visiting during your sophomore and junior years. Utilize your breaks from school and take advantage of family vacations to visit nearby colleges. While summer may be a more convenient time to visit colleges, realize that you may not get the full exposure since campuses will be less populated. Still, any visit is better than no visit. The spring months afford many opportunities to visit colleges. You will see many advertisements for spring open houses and visitation days. While these are geared toward juniors, they are open to all grades. These events typically include an admissions presentation and campus tour. While you’re at the college, it’s acceptable to spend some time looking around on your own, visiting campus spots that may have not been included on the tour, dining on campus, or anything that gives you a good feel for the school. You may compete for individual time during large open house events. Try to make it a point to meet at least one admissions counselor, make a connection, and ask for the business card to keep in touch.
Tips for College Visits
- Don’t visit more than two campuses in one day. You may begin to “blend” information.
- Contact the Office of Admissions before your visit in order to schedule a tour and an appointment with an Admissions Counselor.
- Arrive on time for your tour and/or appointment. Dress appropriately. If this is a formal interview, review the section below about interviews.
- Review the school’s website and read the catalog so that you will be prepared with good questions.
- Eat in one of the dining halls or student centers. This will give you a feel for the campus atmosphere.
- Notice the condition of the campus’ grounds and buildings. Note if there is any construction going on. This may tell you something about the college’s financial well being.
- Visit a class. If possible, talk with students or with faculty members who teach in your area of interest.
- Visit the library. Remember the primary focus of college is academics.
- Talk with students. Ask them about their experience at the school and if there’s anything they wish they would have known before coming.