Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

College Visits

Our counselors answered:

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

An overnight stay should be very important, and if you get one, be thankful. Make sure to have a change of clothes & whatever happens find out if it's typical or out of the ordinary. Don't assume anything, you can be painfully surprised. Be sure to follow whatever rules there are, and find out in advance - but you should have already known that. Hopefully you'll be able to audit a course or 2, talk to some professors on a one-to-one, and possibly present your credentials to some admissions folks & the provost - and don't for a minute think that's out of the question! I've had 10th & 11th graders meet w/chairmen of dept's & presidents of universities when the schools DON'T even have on campus interviews! It's all in the planning if you do it right.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

I think overnight stays are a huge bonus. Often they are only available to admitted students in an attempt to seal the deal. Because college students tend to stay up late, this gives you a chance to really see things in action. At the end of the day, students let their guard down and may be more candid than in a formal tour/info session. Go in to it with an open mind, you may be surprised by some of the behavior you witness.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Overnight stays can really make a difference in your understanding of a college. College tours, information sessions and events rarely take place at night. During your stay, you can see what happens at this time. Is the campus alive? Empty? Too much partying? This is a great way to learn more about a school and what you can expect if you decide to enroll. Prepare yourself by creating a list of questions you would like to have answered during your stay. Some of these may be asked of the student who you pair with, while others you will ask of yourself during the stay. When you return, review those questions and evaluate your experience while it is fresh in your mind.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Overnight stays, particularly on a week-end night can really give you a sense of the scene. In terms of preparing for an overnight stay, check with admissions for the details. A number of colleges organize overnight visits for high school students.

Emily Bloom

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Some schools dont offer students a chance to stay over until they have been accepted, but if you are interested in one that does allow prospies to stay over, you should! It is the best way to see what life at a particular school is really like. To plan, you should check the schedule online to see what events might be taking place. Ask the admissions office for a schedule of classes you can sit in on, other events like concerts and performances that might be taking place and you might even be provided a few meal tickets to eat in the cafeteria. If there is a particular professor whose class was very interesting to you, send an email letting him or her know how much you enjoyed it. Might help down the road!

Lisa Carlton
Owner www.collegematchpoint.com

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

I think overnight stays are really important when you are determining which college to attend. They allow to "try out" the college. You get to see what it is actually like to sleep in the dorm, attend classes, and live on the campus. I wish more students would do an overnight prior to choosing their college. Preparing for an overnight is about like preparing for a sleepover. The college will provide you with a list of what to bring. Be sure to bring some homework as your host will likely need to study!

Tira Harpaz
Founder CollegeBound Advice

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Overnight stays can be extremely important in getting a real sense of campus life and how students interact. However, if you can't stay overnight, don't worry, because it's certainly not essential. In addition, you should understand that you might not always be compatible with a student who agrees to host you, and I wouldn't make a decision about a school on the basis of your overnight host. In terms of preparing for a stay, make sure that you have emailed your host to get information about where and when to meet and make sure you get a cell phone number if possible. Be polite, be neat and don't expect too much attention from your host and you should be fine.

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Overnight stays are important if the student believes it to have importance. One night in a staged environment does not provide a true idea of living, learning and socializing on a campus.

Diana Hanson
Common Sense College Counseling College Mentors

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Once you've narrowed down your choices to one or two, having an overnight can be super helpful--it will give you a strong sense of a particular college. When you contact the college regarding an overnight, ask to attend a class or two in your area(s) of interest as well as spend time with your 'student host' participating in college activities. If you're an athlete and going to an NCAA III college, contact the coach ahead of time and try and arrange to attend a practice (some will invite you to practice with the team). Also, make sure you find time to wander the town around the college to get a feel for day-to-day life there.

Daniel Kramer
College Advisor The Wight Foundation

Are overnight stays important? How should I prepare for an overnight stay?

Overnight visits are great for as many colleges and universities on your list so long as you aren't jeopardizing your GPA in the fall of senior year by missing too many days. I suggest, however, that the best overnight visit is one that involves sitting in on multiple classes. Get a sense of a professor or two. Experience how a college classroom feels like at this school. Listen to the professors and observe the students. Are they engaged? Are they excited to be there?