For high school students who are in the process of researching a variety of colleges and universities, admissions professionals recommend scheduling campus visits to get a better feel for the schools. This is a way for you to know what the campus looks like outside from the brochures, website photos, and guidebooks, and what you will feel. Usually students change their mind once they’ve visited a campus, so participating can be life changing.
Campus visits can make all the difference in helping you make the right college choice. So strap on your walking shoes, hit the road, and check these 5 campus hotspots off your college visit to-do list.
You might think that the best time to schedule your visit is over the summer when you can’t miss your classes. But, in reality, the best time to plan a visit is when classes are in session. This way, you can actually see and feel what the campus is like when students are going to classes. In addition, you could actually sit in on a few classes and get a feel of what the professors are like and the overall environment of the campus if you do decide to enroll there.
Just like visiting a new country, the best way to get to know the place is by exploring on your own. Sure official tours will give you information and history about the school, but the best way to know what the campus feels like is by going to the dining hall, the gymnasium or where most of the students are.
To get a better feel of the whole campus environment, talk to current students - they will have a lot to share about their experience in the university or college. Ask them specific questions about the classes, professors, and other inside information that official tour guides won’t tell you. You’ll get much more honest answers than you will from tour guides, and most students will be more than happy to stop and chat for a few minutes.
If the school allows it, spend the night at the college you are planning to visit. This way, you’ll get a good feel of what the school is like, especially if you stay at the dorms. You get to talk to some students who live on-campus and, as a result, gain a lot of information about the school’s personality.
If you are planning to visit other schools as well, be sure to take notes. List down facts, figures, and what you are feeling. It may feel weird at first, but it will eventually make sense when you’ve visited more than three schools. Remember, you will want to spend your four years in college in a community where you will feel at peace and at home.