CALL AHEAD AND MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE CAMPUS VISIT COORDINATOR. Avoid campus visits during holidays, breaks, and finals week. Make sure you get a “COLLEGE VISITATION FORM” from the Counseling Center BEFORE you visit.
TAKE A THOROUGH CAMPUS TOUR AND ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. Ask for directions frequently.
EAT IN THE DINING HALL. At most colleges, visitors can pay to eat in the dining hall. Sometimes the admissions office will provide a dining hall pass. In addition to allowing you to sample the cuisine, you will also be able to see whether or not students feel comfortable enough to linger or study there.
VISIT A GENERAL EDUCATION TYPE OF CLASS WHILE ON CAMPUS. Colleges may not “offer” this, but they will be happy to arrange the visit if you call in advance. If they offer the very large lecture classes, ask to sit in on one to see how you feel about being one of 300 in a classroom.
IF YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR AREA OF INTEREST IN WHICH YOU WANT TO PURSUE YOUR DEGREE, ASK TO MEET WITH A PROFESSOR IN YOUR FIELD OF INTEREST. This will give you a chance to evaluate the quality of education you will be receiving. Don’t just walk in cold. Ask your admissions representative to set this up in advance of your visit. Have questions written, and be prepared to discuss the curriculum and your possible course options.
MEET WITH A FINANCIAL AID COUNSELOR. Make sure you get their name, and send a thank you note. Few candidates do this. Not only is this good manners, it will also leave them with a favorable impression of you. This could be critical when it comes time to determine the disbursement of money.
CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING WHILE YOU ARE VISITING: Access to computers - Campus security issues - On and off campus medical/health facilities - Nearest mall, movie theatre, restaurants, and religious institutions - Public transportation.
DRESS NEATLY. Do not wear tattered jeans, cut-offs, tank tops or sweatshirts; you will look irresponsible. WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. You will walk a lot when you visit a college campus.
SCAN THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER AND CHECK BULLETIN BOARDS AROUND CAMPUS. The stories will give you a sense of what’s important to students and how the University is responding. The newspaper will also tell you which arts are strong on campus, and what types of entertainment and speakers the school attracts. Bulletin boards show what is really happening on campus on a daily basis. Everything will be there; plays, parties, where to buy textbooks, etc. They’ll also indicate what the students do on the weekends.
KEEP A NOTEBOOK. You could possibly visit anywhere from three to ten campuses, and it’s easy to forget the good and bad points of each.