The Campus Visit
Now that you've browsed college guides and made a list of target schools, it's time to get first-hand information. The best way to find out if a particular campus is right for you is to visit it.
Campus Visits Are Your Chance To Ask Questions
Don't think of a campus visit as just a tour; think of it as an interrogation. It's your opportunity to question the school and determine if it's right for you.
Make appointments to meet with various members of the campus community, particularly in fields or activities in which you're interested. Admissions officers are a must. Discuss the school's requirements, deadlines, financial aid programs and your qualifications. Also, if you already know your major, try to meet members of the faculty in the appropriate department. Ask them about the course requirements, graduation rates of their students, and internship opportunities.
If you're planning on participating in sports or are considering an athletic scholarship, seek out the coaching staff. Find out about the practice schedule, the amount of travel required, the GPA requirements, etc.
Finally, talk to students. If you're visiting during the summer, they may be hard to find. Try the library, the student union, the gym, and other public spaces.
Top 8 Things To Look For on a Campus Visit:
- The Dorms: Would I be comfortable living here?
- Popular Classes: Are the classes too large (i.e., easy to get into) or too small?
- Academic and Administrative Offices: Is the staff friendly? Eager to answer questions? Are the professors available to speak with students?
- Student Union: Is it bustling with activity? Do students seem happy?
- Library: Are the students studying or socializing? Would I be able to study here?
- Career Center: Are there sufficient—and interesting—jobs posted? Are there employment opportunities for both students (part-time) and grads (full-time)?
- Students: Are they friendly? Interesting? Are they people I'd feel comfortable around?
- Local Hangouts: Would I be able to unwind here?
The more information you can gather about a school, the easier it will be to determine if the school is the right choice for you. Plus, you'll be able to make choices between different schools based on a more personal perspective. Narrow your target list down to 5 and include a safety school. These are the campuses you should visit.