How to Make the Most of Your Trip
Visiting a college campus helps you get a sense of what a college─and student life at that college─is like. This can help you decide whether the school is right for you .
When planning your campus visits, allow time to explore each college. While you're there, talk to as many people as possible. These can include college admissions staff , professors, and students. Below are some other things you can do while visiting. Note that some activities, such as meeting with an admissions officer or staying overnight in a residence hall, might need to be set up in advance.
Find out what you need to do to apply. See if the college's class and major offerings are what you want. Be sure to take the following steps:
- Take part in a group information session at the admissions office.
- Interview with an admission officer.
- Get information about financial aid options and deadlines .
- Sit in on a class that interests you. If classes aren’t in session, just see what the classrooms are like.
- Meet a professor who teaches a subject that interests you.
- Talk to students about what they think of their classes and professors.
- Get the names of the people you meet and their business cards so you can contact them later if you have questions.
Explore the Campus
Get a feel for student life and see if this college is a place where you will do well:
- Take a campus tour.
- Talk to current students about life on campus and the college.
- Check out the first-year residence halls. Stay overnight in a residence hall , if possible.
- Visit the dining hall, fitness center, library, career center, bookstore and other campus facilities.
- Talk to the coaches of sports that you may want to play.
- Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.
Check Out Campus Media
Tune in to learn what’s happening on campus and what’s on students’ minds:
- Listen to the college radio station.
- Read the student newspaper.
- Read other student publications, such as department newsletters, alternative newspapers and literary reviews.
- Scan bulletin boards to see what daily student life is like.
- Go to the career center and learn what services it offers.
- Browse the school’s website and any campus blogs.
Questions to Ask During Your Visit
Here are some questions you may want to ask your tour guide or students you meet on campus:
- What are the best reasons to go to this college?
- What’s it like to go from high school to college?
- What do you do in your free time? On the weekends?
- What do you love about this college?
- What do you wish you could change about this college?
- Why did you choose this college?
- What is it like to live here?
Adapted from Campus Visits and College Interviews by Zola Dincin Schneider.
What’s a campus visit?
A campus visit is a planned visit to a college or university campus. It involves a guided campus tour, information sessions, and meeting with admissions officers. Visitors can interact with current students, explore the campus community, and see if the college matches their interests and goals. The purpose is to provide firsthand experience and insight into the college's environment.
Why is it important to visit a campus?
Visiting a campus is important because it allows prospective students to get a feel for the college's atmosphere and culture. It enables you to explore the facilities, interact with current students, and envision yourself as part of the community. It also allows you to ask questions, gather information, and make an informed decision about your college choice.
How do I prepare for a campus visit?
Start by researching the college beforehand to familiarize yourself with its programs, activities, and campus layout. Create a checklist of areas you want to explore and questions you want to ask during the visit. Plan your visit by scheduling a campus tour and a meeting with an admissions representative.
What should I include in my college visit checklist?
Schedule a campus tour and attend an information session to learn about the college's programs and campus life. Arrange to sit in on a class and meet with an admissions representative to discuss your interests and ask questions. Engage with current students to gain insights into campus culture and explore campus facilities and the surrounding area. Take notes, gather information on financial aid, and follow up with a thank-you note or email after the visit.
How can I make the most of my college visit?
Plan well ahead if you want to make the most of your college visit. Research the college beforehand, including its programs, campus facilities, and student organizations. After the visit, review your college visit checklist and the notes you made. These will help you reflect on your experience and consider how well the college aligns with your goals and preferences.