A blind date for one evening is bad enough– you don’t want to go on a “blind date” for four years! The only way to find out if the school of your dreams is as good as it looks in the brochure is to go check it out for yourself. But do you know when to go? What questions to ask? How to know if it’s the right fit for you? Learn it all with our campus visit guide, and be sure to check out the other posts in our college prep series.
Coming up with a list of schools to visit can be difficult, but planning your college tour will be easier if you have a short list of places you’d really like to visit. Our College Application Checklist has a few tips on researching your schools, and we also recommend checking rankings on sites like the U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review.
You don’t want to travel all the way to your dream school only to find that they’re not offering tours that day! Most schools post information about tours on their Admissions page, but if you can’t find the information you need, call or send an e-mail. Then work with whoever is accompanying you on your trip to create a reasonable itinerary.
Not everyone has the money or time to visit schools in different states. That’s why a lot of schools are live streaming admissions talks, adding virtual tours and hosting live chats. College Week Live is a great resource for finding out when these live chats are going on, but you should also sign up to receive e-mails from the schools admission offices. Campus Tours also lists virtual tours that you can do from the comfort of your bedroom!
It’s easy to just sign up for a tour, look at the dorms and move on to the next school. However, that’s not a good way to truly learn about the college and its programs. Of course, most tours (whether virtual or in-person) are only going to talk about the best things the school has to offer, so it’s up to you to ask more specific questions. How diverse is the school? What are the career resources like? Are there a lot of active student groups? By writing down a list of questions about all the things you absolutely need in a school, you’ll be able to narrow down your selection once it’s time to decide. Also, try to talk to at least three students about campus life. That way you’ll get a comprehensive view of what current students think of the school.
Are you planning on visiting any schools? What else would you like to know about college? Let us know in the comments!