The Heart of the College Visit: Some Key Insights

By Adela Penagos, PhD, President

We all have heard about the importance of the college visit. While not every college records the visit as evidence of a student’s demonstrated interest, the visit should be important for you. Here are some tips about how to get the most of the college visit.

Tip #1: Research the college prior to the visit

Every college has a website. Thus the more you learn about the school prior to your college tour and informational session, the easier it will be to have your questions answered and to understand all the facts that will be thrown at you.

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Tip #2: Take notes and reflect later

Writing down the pros and cons as you learn them throughout your visit will be helpful as you decide if you should apply to this college or not when the time arrives.

Tip #3: Speak to a random student on campus

If you want to get the real scoop about the school, walk into the cafeteria, student center, or any other part of the campus on your own and grab a student who will probably happy to share his/her experience with you. As you interact with the student think if he/she has some of the traits you appreciate in potential peers.

Tip #4: Learn about campus life

Do not forget to ask about the housing options, dining hall food (to figure out the quality I recommend trying some, but also ask about your ability to use your flex dollars throughout various eateries on and off campus), clubs, athletic facilities, tutoring services, and any other aspect of college life that is important to you. Picture yourself partaking in any of these scenarios.

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Tip #5: Ask about requirements

It is important to know there is a core or general education curriculum required of all students. Do not forget to ask if you can take any of those requirements abroad or in the summer to determine the flexibility of the curriculum. Also figure out the likelihood to get the classes you want to take when it best fit you. The more you know about your options and expectations the easier it will to graduate in four years.

Tip #6: Check out career services

Make sure you will have the guidance and resources to get ready for life after college. Ask about summer internship placement and funding; job shadowing opportunities; availability of mock interviews; connections to the alumni network; and scheduled events throughout the year to support your career exploration.

Enjoy your visit wherever you go! And let us know if we can help you as you deliberate!