Most college applicants visit about 4 college campuses on average while deciding which college to go to.The campus visit is important because it allows you to get a gut reaction, which is often a major factor in your decision making. In order to have a real gut sense of a school, you have to make you visit real and worthwhile.
Here are our suggestions to make the campus visit more valuable to you.
Don’t let your parents do all the talking.
This is your choice and your next four years. If you’re passive and have no questions, you are wasting your time. And, do you want to look like you’re tied to your parents’ apron strings?
Have questions ready to ask.
The college tour guide will usurp a lot of the tour time talking about the college, but there will always be time for questions at the end. Show you have some curiosity and a realistic awareness you are about to spend thousands of dollars for just one year of college. A blank face and silence shows neither.
Weather may, indeed, be an important factor for you when you’re choosing a college. Are you a ski bum or a beach baby? But, the general weather has probably already dictated which campuses you are visiting in the first place. Don’t let one rainy day or a cold spell dampen your interest. Rather concentrate on how this campus integrates with its environment whether it’s a warm southern climate or a climate with seasonal weather changes.
Don’t judge the college by the tour guide.
Some tour guides are great; others not so much. If your tour guide is a know-it-all, that doesn’t mean the whole student body is elitist. And, tour guides can modify tours to meet the interests of the students with them. Ask if you don’t see something you want to see.
This can’t be emphasized enough. You can never take in all the information given about a college, keep it in mind, move to the next campus, take in more information, and then be able to compare the two–never mind four or more—without notes. Also, many colleges will ask an applicant to write an essay about why they want to attend this particular college. Few applicants have enough specifics to answer that prompt well. Good notes from a campus visit can help a lot. Bonus tip: ]keep your parents quiet by asking them to take copious notes for you.
Don’t lose sight that campus tours are sales pitches
They will choose what they want you to see. No dorms on the tour? Maybe they’re not so livable. So, after the tour check out what they didn’t show you.
What most students don’t realize is that visiting a college campus is not a joy ride; it’s work. If you don’t make an effort, your impression of the college may be vague. You won’t learn or see much about a campus if you’re not prepared which will negatively affect your decision of where to go.
Check out even more tips on making the most out of your college visit.