This is probably the best way to get a "feeling" for the college and to confirm your initial impressions. The more colleges you visit, the more general and specific knowledge you will have about your likes and dislikes. Download sample college trip information.
When You Plan to Visit a College
- Talk to your college counselor. In order to have class absences excused, you must complete a notified absence form. In addition, you must have some sort of official contact with the college's admissions office (i.e., a tour, interview, group information session, etc.).
- Call or email the admissions office in advance to arrange for a tour, interview (if you’re interested) and/or information session.
- If you are interested in visiting classes, let the admissions office know. They can arrange to have you sit in on one or more classes in the subject areas in which you are particularly interested.
- Read over information provided in the guidebooks, catalogs, and brochures so that you are familiar with the college you are visiting.
- Prepare questions before you go. What do you want to know about the college? Remember that the admission folks are there to answer all of your questions and concerns. Don’t be shy!
When You Get to Campus
- Take a tour.
- Have a meal in the cafeteria or a central eating area.
- Locate a campus newspaper. Find out about campus issues.
- Look at the bulletin boards to see what is going on around campus.
- Try to see a dorm room.
- Ask your tour guide personal questions such as why he/she chose the school or what he/she does not like about the school.
- Ask to meet with faculty members from a specific department of interest to you.
- Visit the school's club offices, such as the radio station, the newspaper, community service organizations, social groups, student government, outdoor programs, etc.
- Spend time in the library.
- Ask to use the athletic facilities; test them out.
- Try to get a feeling for what life would be like if you were to attend this college. Remember that you can get facts about the college from the published literature; you are there to get your impressions and opinions about the college.
Ten Great Questions to Ask During a College Visit
To college students:
- What's the best academic experience you've had?
- What did you do last Saturday night? What did you do last Thursday night? Typical?
- If you could change something about the college, what would it be?
- Why did you choose to come to this college? Where else were you considering?
- What is the surrounding community like?
To admission officers:
- What long-range goals has the college set for itself?
- What one thing most distinguishes this college from others in the country?
- With what colleges do you see the greatest number of overlapping applications?
- What types of traditions (annual events, etc.) does the college have?
- What are the college’s retention and graduation rates? Why do students choose to leave?