One of the more exciting and fun parts of your college admissions process is visiting the campus. Colleges understand that this is an important step to your decision as to what college you should attend, and do their best to make their college appealing to both students and parents alike.
While enjoyable, a campus visit is also critical to extracting the most information and value from your campus hosts, so that you can make an informed choice, and put your best foot forward with the Admissions department.
Here are some simply tips to follow to make the most of your campus visit
1) Know the college: Instead of asking the simple questions that campus guides hear all the time (How many students does the college have? What year was it founded?), get the basics out of the way by reading college brochures and studying the applicant information on the college’s website
2) Feel like you’re already there. A lot of colleges offer virtual tours that you can review from the comfort of your home. Check them out, as well as a campus map, ahead of time so you don’t waste precious time wandering around.
3) Research your areas of interest. If your focus is a particular department, review the department online, and know the principle players (the Dean, professors, and faculty). If you are lucky enough to run into them on campus during your tour, you may have the opportunity to introduce yourself and get a foot in the door!
4) Ask intelligent questions. College Admission departments really like engaged, enthusiastic students. Stand out by asking questions such as “What was the most recent paper published by the head of the faculty?” or “What kind of internships and research possibilities are available to first year students in this field?”
5) Don’t forget the living necessities! As a student, you will be living the next 4 years of your life on this campus. Get to know the area around the campus well, including how far a jog it is to the local Laundromat, grocery store, and even the local mall. If your college is secluded from a metropolis, you’ll want to know in advance that you need to budget for bus or cab rides to get your necessary chores done each week.
Campus tours are fun, but they’re also a great source of important decision-making information. Make the most of your visit!