Eight tips to the best college visit
by Maddie Metzger
Visits to campus can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the college search. During your trip, you’ll get to see campus and immerse yourself in the school’s culture for the day.
Here are some tips to make sure you will get the most out of your visit, whether it is a drive down the street or a flight across country!
1. Schedule multiple schools
Look at all of your options, even if you’re sure on one school. This allows you to compare and contrast things you like about that large public institution versus that smaller private college. Loving a college is beyond the classroom; make sure you love the learning spaces, but that you also enjoy the community.
2. Use virtual options to prep you for the in-person visit
Given the most recent year, colleges have expanded their virtual options. Whether you want to take a guided virtual tour from your couch or want to explore program spaces before you’re on campus, there are options! These might help spark questions or narrow down what you want to see once you are there. And if you aren’t already following those colleges on social media, do it! This is one of the best locations to keep up with what’s happening on campus.
3. Check to see what is included with your tour
Every school has slightly different visitation structures, so read the agenda that you’re sent and make sure all that you want to do is listed! While probably the most common thing, make sure there is a campus tour. Some college tours might include housing opportunities and some might not. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your admissions counselor to learn more.
5. Venture out on your own
After the scheduled visit comes to an end, do some exploring on your own. Make sure you have a campus map and then get out there! Maybe you’ll find some perfect photo ops, the college store for your very own swag or a dining facility to try the grub. This goes beyond the college, too. Venture out into the town you’ll soon be calling home.
6. Parents – let your students take the lead
While we know you have a mile-long list of questions you’d like answers to, try and refrain. After all, this is your student’s journey. Let them drive the conversation and get all of their questions asked. This might be their first opportunity to speak to a current student or one of their favorite future instructors. We promise we are available during your student’s entire admissions journey to answer your questions.
7. Take notes!
Like we said above, it’s important to visit multiple places, but the details between colleges could easily be skewed if you aren’t documenting. Write down things like majors, student organizations, housing options, campus statistics and more. Take photos and pamphlets across campus, so you can piece it all together later. Get business cards! We can’t stress that enough; the instructors and counselors are here to help you and you can follow up at any time – including those questions you’ll come up with on your drive home.
8. Keep an open mind
Don’t judge the school on the bad weather while you visited or that one boring class you sat in on. If you don’t give them a shot, you might never realize they have the best graduation placement rate or maybe some killer food. I mean, you will be eating it for the next 2-4 years!