How Can I Get the Most Out of a College Campus Visit?

College campus visits provide an opportunity for prospective students to take a first-hand look at the school. Students get a look at the campus along with a sense for the student population, facilities and student services. This article provides tips on getting the most out of your college campus visit.

When to Visit

Consider visiting college campuses for the first time during freshman or sophomore year in high school. By the spring of junior year, you should begin investigating campuses more earnestly. Visiting during the academic year is advised because you can experience an active campus, meet with instructors and observe classes. Check with the campus to make sure that visits occur when classes are in session and not during midterm exams. Appointments for interviews or campus tours should be made in advance.

Important Facts about Colleges

Common Courses Introduction to statistics, principles of accounting, marketing principles, ethics and professionalism, world history, advanced graphic communication, organizational leadership, human genetics
Programs Undergraduate, graduate
Online Availability Many select schools
Concentrations Finance, art, computer science, business administration, psychology, marketing, social science, humanities, legal studies, history

What You Should See

Many college campuses offer tours pointing out major locations, such as the library, student center, student housing and various class locations. Some schools allow perspective students to spend the night in a dorm and dine at the cafeteria. The College Board suggests you may also want to tour the bookstore and the community surrounding the campus. Sitting in on a class is informative as well. Visiting a class can give you an idea of the typical class size and overall learning environment at the school.

Questions to Ask

During a campus visit, you may be able to meet with admissions directors, counselors or instructors. ACT Inc. suggests asking questions regarding class sizes, availability of instructors, services for new students, tuition and fees, registration process and financial aid. Inquire about campus activities, what students do on the weekends and where the majority of freshmen live. Questions about academic advising, career counseling and graduation rates can also provide valuable information.

Other Campus Visiting Tips

Take notes and pictures to recall specifics about each campus, especially if you visit many campuses. You might want to make a list of the pros and cons of each school while the visit is still fresh in your mind. Talking with college students during the visit, reading student publications or listening to the college radio station can provide useful information as well.

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