Tips for a Successful Campus Visit
Despite it being more difficult to visit a college campus right now, visits are still possible. Most colleges and universities have moved to virtual visits, but some schools - especially the smaller colleges - are offering in-person visits. Visit the website of the college you would like to "tour" for more information and to book a tour, if applicable.
Read on for 12 Tips for a Successful In-Person Campus Visit!
- Make it official.
- Organize your visit and tour through the admission office.
- Try to visit during an active college school day.
- Try a special campus visit day.
- Take the lead!
- Don’t let your parents be in charge.
- Ask your own questions!
- Show your independence.
- Get organized and prepare.
- Think about what you want out of this visit. What do you want to see? Who do you want to speak with?
- Take photos with your phone.
- Use “Campus Visit Notes” to detox your visit.
- Divide and conquer.
- While you are visiting with current students or an admission officer, your parents should talk with the financial aid office.
- Read the bulletin boards.
- What’s printed there? What activities are happening on or near campus?
- Look lost!
- Are students or staff helpful? Do people stop to help you find your way, or brush past? This can be useful in determining a campus's "friendly" atmosphere.
- Attend a class in your major, or a general education class.
- Get a sense of class size.
- Try to sit in on a class you would take as a senior. How do students interact with the professor? Is the professor interested in what students have to say?
- Are classes interactive? Passive? How many students are actively taking notes?
- Pick up a campus newspaper.
- What are the big issues on campus?
- What are students talking about?
- Talk with a professor if you are interested in a certain academic area.
- Professors like to talk with incoming students about what they do, the research opportunities they offer, and where students are headed after graduation. They want to meet you.
- Look beyond the campus.
- Check out the neighborhood.
- Ask current students how and where they spend their time off campus.
- What is the favorite restaurant(s) or shopping areas that students frequent?
- Meet with your admission counselor.
- This is the person who will read your application, so if possible, meet them!
- Say Thank You!
- Write a nice thank you note to your admission counselor, either on paper or via email.
Can't make it to campus? Try a Virtual College Visit!
In the wake of Covid-19, most colleges have created virtual campus visits - which are really good! Even though there's no substitute for engaging all your senses on the actual campus, learning more about a college online is doable. This may be a cost-effective way to "visit" a school as you build a list.
Here are some tips from ACT on how to get the most out of a virtual tour.
You can do a virtual visit at campuses in the United States and around the world by watching campus tours on the college websites or on specific sites that offer a variety of campus tour videos: