Make the Most of Your College Visits

Feb 2nd, 2016 | College Admissions, College Preparation, Undergrad

Visiting colleges can help high school students fine-tune the list of schools to which they’ll be applying.  College visits can also help with the final decision regarding which school to attend once students have been accepted.  These visits are often the first glimpse into college life.   It’s crucial to make the most of them, and there are a number of things to accomplish before, during, and after these trips.

When to Visit

We recommend going during a high school break that coincides with times your prospective schools are in session. For juniors, the upcoming Mid-Winter and Spring breaks may work.  Seniors who need additional input about a school, or who have not yet seen a college they’re considering, will want to go as soon as possible.  It’s much better to visit a campus when classes are in session, so you can get an accurate picture of what life is like there.

Before You Go

As soon as you know the dates of your visit, there are a number of things you’ll need to schedule.   A campus tour can give you a general sense of the school’s programs and the campus layout.  To get even more of a sense of what it would be like to attend a college, you’ll want to set up meetings with faculty or students in the departments and organizations that interest you.  Ask the admissions department to arrange for you to sit in on a class or two to allow you to really see what the learning environment can be like.  If admissions interviews are recommended or required by a school, try to set one up for while you’re there.  Finally, ask if prospective students are allowed to stay in a dorm overnight with a current undergraduate.  If so, this may be a great opportunity to meet students and to really experience campus life.

While You’re There

There are two main areas of focus: academic resources and lifestyle features. You’ll want to visit the libraries, computer labs, practice rooms, or whatever else you think could be integral to your academic and social experience.   Some of this can happen on your campus tour, and in the other activities you scheduled before arriving.  Don’t forget to check out the off campus sights and services to figure out if the school is in a location where you can see yourself living for four years.

After You’ve Left

Don’t forget to send thank you notes to anyone you want to remember you, such as admissions personnel or professors or even some of the students.  

For more advice regarding college tours or other college admissions issues, contact Sandweiss Test Prep!