No, it’s not too early to be thinking about visiting colleges juniors,
and seniors may have interviews to complete. Many students will get a small
break in September, so August is a perfect time to put your plans together and
finalize your trip.With the
expectations of your “tough” schedules, it’s important to make the most of this
visit and the best way to do that is to start with you.
Students and their families often want to get right into a discussion of
the whole admission process, but let’s begin by answering these five questions:
1.What do you want to be doing freshman year, take a
minute to imagine you’re there. Is it football games, frat parties, late night
intellectual discussions in the dorm?
2.Don’t think about a major at this point, but what
courses do you really want to be taking?
3.Are you social or want to curl up with a good book
when it gets dark?Who do you spend time
with and what kinds of conversations do you have.When you walk into the cafeteria at lunch, do
you like knowing everyone (and everyone knowing you) or are you more
comfortable sticking to yourself?This
is important in trying to differentiate between small and large college
4.When you walk into high school in the morning, what
classes are you eager to get to?What
would you rather skip if you could? Why is that? Do you enjoy classes where you
can participate and contribute or would you rather sit back and absorb the
lecture and respond with your ideas on paper in your written assignments?
5.How long have you pictured yourself going to
college?When you close your eyes, what
do you see? Is the campus surrounded by the sounds and hustle of the “big city”
or is the setting bucolic and serene? How far away from home are you?
Now that you’ve decided to explore your options, Campus Visiting does take some
organization to maximize your experience.
“How To” Instructions
·Make a list of the colleges you think you’d like
to explore, then map them. Try using GO SEE CAMPUS and Campus Tours online
resources to plan your trip.
·You can usually see 2-3 colleges in an extended
weekend if they are within a 100 mile radius.
·Distance should not be more than 5-7 hours of
your home, or if flying, each other. Plan to start your travel on a Thursday
evening, college tours are not available on Sunday.Book your hotel well in advance, many
colleges have Open Houses or Parents’ Weekends and you can find that there
isn’t a room to be had. The admission office can help you locate a place to
and some airlines have discounts for college visitation.
·Call the Admission office ahead to schedule a
student guided tour.Tours are important
since you’ll be able to ask questions of your tour guide while seeing most of
the campus. But don’t stop here –
venture out!Talk to students,
locals, read the student newspaper, see a dorm, eat in the student cafeteria, do
an overnight visit, if you’re a hiker, stop by a local park.
a senior and this college requires an interview, schedule a tour and interview
at the same visit.
Do your research-read everything that is public knowledge about the college and take notes-outstanding programs, faculty-student ratio, educational mission, sports teams, study abroad programs, financial aid and merit scholarship support, undergraduate research opportunities -- everything!