College visits are a great resource for your college search
Brochures and websites are helpful, but they can’t give you what college visits can: the opportunity to truly experience the campus: see it, get the feel for campus life and meet students and staff in person. College visits are your first chance to take a real look at a potential college and are one of the things you’ll consider when making your decision.
Planning your college visits
Planning will ensure that you see what you want to see. Set aside enough time, two-three hours, to take a walking tour of the campus, explore offerings, and get a feel for campus life.
When you’re planning, you can also make a list of questions that you’d like to answer about the college, such as:
• What are the class sizes? What is the ratio of students to teachers?
• What social activities are offered for students?
• What sort of clubs and organizations are established on campus?
• What financial aid is available? How do students apply?
• What are the application requirements?
• How will the college help me get a job?
Things to remember during your college visits
Considering the following things during your visit will send you home informed and laden with swag.
- Grab all the print materials in sight. Brochures, aid forms, business cards, activity calendars and student newspapers all offer valuable contacts and insight.
- Take some photos while you’re there – both of things that impress you and things that don’t.
- Pick up some swag –you can never have enough tees, pens, water bottles, or lanyards. Or maybe you can…regardless, there should be plenty available.
- Though you’ll certainly be welcome to schedule a tour at your convenience, some colleges offer events that include tours, meetings with faculty and financial aid and application assistance. Check out an event happening in March in the Tampa Bay Area.
Be sure to follow up with appropriate thank you notes to people who took time to help. Don’t miss an opportunity to impress! After a well-planned and executed college visit, you should be well-equipped to make an informed choice that will pair you with a college that suits your needs.