How to Make the Most of Your Trip
Visiting a college campus helps you get a sense of what a college — and life at that college — is like. This can help you decide whether the college is right for you.
When planning your campus visits, make sure to allow time to explore each college. While you’re there, talk to as many people as possible. These can include college admission staff, professors and students. Below are some other things you can do while visiting. Note that some activities, such as meeting with an admission officer or staying overnight in a dorm, might need to be set up in advance.
Find out what you need to do to apply and see if the college’s class and major offerings are what you want:
- Take part in a group information session at the admission office.
- Interview with an admission officer.
- Pick up financial aid forms.
- 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 freshmen dorms and stay overnight with a student, 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.