Tips for Visiting Colleges

When thinking about college it is important to start out by selecting several different types of colleges and universities.  Start by considering these options when finding the best fit for you:

  • Big school vs small school – Size of campus, population of students, classroom size
  • A public or private school – Tuition costs, scholarships offered
  • Location of school – Suburban, rural, or urban; how will you get around campus?; how will you get from campus to your home – what is distance from college and home?
  • Type of housing & campus resources – Is there guaranteed housing for undergrads, can you have a car on campus, does the school meet the needs of any disabilities you may have?
  • Types of Majors & Minors – Even if you’re undecided, make sure the school has majors that you could potentially be interested in majoring in.

After you research schools online it is important to tour the schools that you’re most interested in, This will help you see how you’ll fit into the campus community.  During your visit it is important to:

  • Take a guided tour of campus – Guides can show you all different parts of the campus and answer many questions you may have about the community there.
  • Talk to the students there –  Stopping to talk to students already enrolled in the school will give you a fresh perspective of what they like & don’t like about the school.
  • Visit the main campus areas – See what a dorm room looks like, look at some classrooms to get an idea of their size, check out the library (it’s where you’ll be spending a lot of time!), and see if you can eat a meal at the cafeteria.
  • Schedule a meeting/interview – If possible schedule an interview with an admissions officer, this will help them put a face to your name and your application.  Also, if you’re applying to a specific major try scheduling a meeting with the dept. head or a professor.  Click here for College Interview Tips and Thank You Letters.
  • Ask questions! It’s important to ask as many questions as possible, it’s the best way to get answers from the people currently attending this school

After your visit, go home and take a few minutes to write down your experience at the school.  This will give you something to go back to when you’re trying to narrow down the schools you’re going to actually apply to.  Believe it or not, after a few campus tours, some of the campuses may begin to blur together.  Here is a sample form you can use: College Rating Sheet.