Campus Visit Checklist: Things to Look For and Questions to Ask

One of the biggest decisions in our life that we need to make is choosing a college. You have to make the best choice because it will have a major impact on your life for the years to come. Thus, it is really important that students do a comprehensive research about their preferred colleges. With the help of the internet, it is easy to find answers to your questions about college. You will be able to know about the colleges’ history, the major and careers that they offer, the student council and the organizations, the major events that they held and academic schedules. There are also blogs from college students where they share their experiences. High school students will have a general knowledge of what these colleges can offer but read this information and stories from college students is not enough. It will be better if students will be able to experience how their day will turn out on a campus.

The ideal way to get a sense of life at a college is through campus visits. Students have to make sure that they will allocate a significant time and maximize each visit to explore each college. Preparation is very important. You have to make sure that you will have all of the necessary information that you need and be able to prepare the right questions that you wanted to ask. A campus visit will definitely help students to narrow down their choices and be more confident about the college that they will choose. Below is a checklist that can help you evaluate your options.

Before Campus Visit

  • Gather information: If there are several colleges that you wanted to check, you may want to keep a folder for each school. These folders will contain view books or brochures and other information about the college, such as the requirements that you need to submit and college classes and the majors that they offer. You should also check the campus’ website: read information about the school and blogs about it; check the career center; read the student newspaper and other publications; scan the bulletin board and see what students are posting. From this information, you can formulate the questions that you wanted to ask. List it in a notebook and bring it during your visit.
  • Call the college admission’s office and make arrangements: The admission office provides important information, especially to potential students. They are the one who you need to coordinate if you wanted to visit their campus. Ask them about their college tour and information sessions. In some colleges, they encourage the students to attend a class; meet a professor, admission officer, financial aid officer; eat in the dining hall, and stay overnight in a dorm to fully experience college life. You should ask about the admission office about it and carefully plan your schedule. Remember to take down the names and phone numbers of the person that will be assigned to assist you during your visit.

During Campus Visit

  • Go to the admission office: Before the campus tour, an information session is being held first. This is where admission representative talks to you or your group about the college. You can ask your questions regarding the admission process and requirements.
  • Take a campus tour: Check the buildings, classrooms and campus facilities like the dining hall, library, career center, and bookstore. You can walk or drive around the community to check the surroundings of the campus. While on the tour, you can ask the college representative about your prepared questions.
  • Attend a class and talk to a professor: In some colleges, you can sit in on a class and meet some of the professors. You can ask them about your preferred classes and the majors that they offer.
  • Talk with a financial aid officer: Pick up a financial aid form and inquire about its requirements, processes, and deadline for submission. Ask the officer about your options.
  • Talk to the students: Ask them about their life on campus and what they think about their classes and professors.
  • Stay overnight, if possible: Check out their freshmen dorm and its facilities, and know about their rules and regulations.
  • Take important notes: Jot down all of the answers to your question, especially about the college admission and financial aid options. It is also important to get the names of the people that you will meet on the campus and their business cards so you can contact them if you still have other questions.

After Campus Visit

  • Make notes about your campus visit: Write down your impression about the whole experience: the ‘feel’ of the campus; your interaction with the students, professor, admission officer, financial aid officer, and fellow high school student during the tour; and the aspects of the college that fascinated you. You should also write about some of your possible concerns like admission process and requirements.
  • Send thank-you notes or follow-up letters and forms: Thank the admission office and the people who helped you during your campus visits to let them know that you appreciate their time and effort.

With these campus visits, students will be able to experience how their first day in college will turn out. Most importantly, they will be able to evaluate if the college can offer what they need. So for high school students out there, start organizing your schedule and plan your campus visits.

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