The Case for In-Person Campus Visits

In-Person Campus Visits > Virtual Campus Visits

Although virtual campus tours and online information sessions can be easily accessed from the comfort of your home, nothing can replace the feeling (yes, FEELING) a student gets when they set foot on a campus they love.

Experiencing a college campus in person provides the underlying SENSORY input brains need to feel comfort in making a big decision. Not sure what I’m talking about?

Here are some examples.

  • Overhear student conversations about their weekend plans in the campus coffee shop
  • Chat with the student worker in the book store about why she chose this school
  • Read posters in the student center advertising upcoming events and interesting opportunities
  • Taste the cuisine in the dining hall
  • Smell the spring blossoms (aaachoo!) or trudging through the snow to get from building to building
  • Walk by a professors decorated office door and glance at their favorite article clippings, memes, flags, and bumper stickers

What conclusions might a student draw from these experiences? I would argue that it’s impossible to gain that type of knowledge (head and heart knowledge) from any virtual experience.

THIS is experiential learning.

According to Dr. Dennard’s doctoral dissertation, the primary factor in a students’ decision of where they’ll attend college is a sense of belonging. How better to gauge this than to physically put yourself right into the community and environment.

So, book the campus visit. Try it on and see how it feels!