Make the Most of Your Campus Visit with These Tips
As you prepare to visit campuses in person, consider these tips.
A MONTH BEFORE YOU GO
- Schedule an official campus tour and info session through the university’s admission website. These tend to fill up, so book in advance.
- Don’t plan to visit more than 2 campuses per day
- If you have a special interest, contact your admission counselor 2 weeks before your visit to request a meeting with someone who can give you detailed information (support for LD, study abroad opportunities, financial aid, pre-med program, club rugby, cello teacher, academic department of interest, etc)
- Ask the admission office about hotel and restaurant recommendations (they usually have special rates too!)
- PREPARE QUESTIONS! Here are some examples, but identify what’s important in your college experience, and develop your own set of questions that you ask each school.
DAY OF YOUR VISIT
- Wear comfortable shoes and dress casual, but not sloppy. Account for any weather- you’ll be outside walking a lot!
- Arrive on campus at least 30 minutes before your first scheduled meeting or tour. Parking can be complicated and finding the correct building can feel stressful.
- Built in at least 30 minutes of free time to walk around campus or hang out in the student center.
DURING YOUR VISIT
- #1 TIP: ASK QUESTIONS & TAKE NOTES!
- Students and parents should split into separate tours and compare notes later on
- Peek into a classroom (ideally in the major/college you’re considering). Are students engaged in small groups or listening to a lecture?
- Check out the facilities, tools, equipment, gadgets, and software, especially if you’re a STEM major. What’s available to you as an undergrad?
- Take photos (at least a selfie) while on campus
- Eat at the dining hall
- Ask a student where other students like to hang out off campus (coffee, boba, pizza, etc)
- Notice parking on campus: plentiful or scarce? Can freshmen bring a car?
- Pick up a student newspaper to see what’s happening and what students really care about
- Take photos of posters advertising events, opportunities, and interesting things the students and faculty are doing
- Take a few minutes to hang out in the student center and find a current student to talk to about why they chose the school
- Check out a freshman dorm- can you picture yourself there?
- If you’re meeting with a faculty or staff member, ask for their business card.
AFTER YOUR TOUR
- Take 10 minutes to reflect and write some notes. Jot down a few things you liked, and a few things you didn’t. What do you want to learn more about?
- Give the school a “grade” A+ or maybe a B- according to how much you liked it and write why you assigned this grade.
- Drive around the neighborhood where the campus is located and note your observations
- Try out the place your student tour guide or admission counselor recommended to eat, do or see!
- Write thank you emails or hand-written notes to anyone who you met with individually (admission counselor, staff member, professor, coach, etc)
- Text your Bright Futures Counselor and share your experience!