Visiting a college campus is an important part of your school search. You should never decide to attend a college until you have been on campus and toured around the university, that’s like buying a pair of shoes without trying them on. You may have your mind made up about which college you want to attend, but seeing the campus and learning what it has to offer could change your decision. Take advantage of your summer, winter or spring breaks to check out different campuses.
Schedule a Campus Tour
You can always check out the school and wander the grounds on your own, but you should also take a guided tour which can usually be scheduled in advance online. Make sure to schedule this before you arrive on campus as the tours can sometimes fill up. Your tour guide can give you some insight about what goes on where, give a history of the college, and answer any questions you have about the school, the campus, student housing and life, and the classes.
Ditch Your Parents
It’s great if your parents accompany you in your college search, but take some time to get away. Walk around campus with other perspective students or on your own to get a feel of what it will be like once you start school there.
Check out the Dorms
It is important for freshman to live in the dorms, and most colleges require it. Living in the dorms connects you to other students and teaches you how to live on your own, but with a little help. When visiting a college campus you should try to get a look at the dorms and the different options you have as a place to live. Make sure there is a place the fits your lifestyle and living needs.
Visit the Library & Classrooms
These are two places that you must see when visiting a college campus. This is where you will be learning, doing work, and studying. If you can’t see yourself being inspired and meeting your potential in the specific atmosphere of the library and classrooms at the school, it might not be the right fit for you.
Talk to an Admissions Counselor
Talking to an admissions counselor can give you a realistic idea on what it takes to be a student at that school. You can find out the acceptance requirements, ask about different majors and the specific classes needed to graduate. They can also give you important admission deadlines and financial aid options. Do not pass up on the opportunity to meet with an admissions counselor.
Talk to Current Students
The students are the experts. If you have a chance, chat with a current student and ask about what it is like to attend the school. Hopefully they will be honest with you and can let you know about different classes and majors, what it’s like to live on campus, the best meal plan to get, how strict the rules are, etc.
Gather Student Publications & Maps
Collect all the brochures, handbooks, student newspapers, college magazines, and campus maps that you can. Once you are back home and weighing your options, you will be happy to have these documents to remind you about your college visit.
Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis Campus map preview from the 2015-16 Official Visitors Guide
Ask the Right Questions
There are no stupid questions. You are about to make one of the biggest decisions of your life, so if you want to know something, make sure to ask it. Here are some important questions to ask when visiting a college, whether you are asking your tour guide, a current student, or admissions counselor.
- What is it like to live here?
- What are the major differences between high school and college?
- Why did you choose this school?
- What kind of social activities and clubs are there?
- What is the town/city like?
- How safe is this campus? What is the security like?
- What would you change about this college?
- What is the food like?
- Does this college offer classes towards my major?
- What do you love about this college?
University Visitors Network can help you with your college search! We have Online Visitor Guides and Mobile Apps for 40+ universities that can allow you to take a virtual tour, schedule a visit, and more. Click here to view our Online Guides and Mobile Apps – University Visitors Network