How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

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Our counselors answered:

How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

Go to accepted student days, but be discerning. They are rolling out the red carpet for you, so realize this is not reality.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Be A Consumer

As a true consumer! This may be the single largest investment (besides the family home) that your family will be making. Ensure there is no buyer's remorse.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Accepted Student Visit

Once an institution has decided they want you, it's time to dig even deeper. Many schools offer opportunities to visit again, stay overnight, all geared to a group of students at the same point in the decision process. If such an offer is not forthcoming, it is worth asking if there is a chance to do any of the above. The more you talk to people on campus, the more you see the campus at all times of the day/week, the better your knowledge base when you have to put down that deposit.

Helen Cella

How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

Be friendly, you will be with classmates. Pay specific attention to things that will specifically affect you.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

Accepted and Visiting--Can You See Yourself There?

Once the schools have made their decisions the pendulum swings to the other side. Where all the anxiety once rested with the applicant, now admissions directors sweat out the student decision making process. If you did things right the places that accepted you should fit your basic profile, all offering the college experience and programs you seek. Consequently your visit, like the whole decision making process, should be aimed at determining if a place is the best fit, the most comfortable, the place where you will grow the most and be best able to maximize your ambitions. Can you see yourself there for the next four years? Now it is up to you.

Lauren Carter
Director of College Counseling Louisville Collegiate School

Look at your accepted college up close and personal

Once you have been admitted to a college, you will look at it with a very different lens and you should! No longer is the question "Can I get in?" but now you are asking "Do I want to go there?" When you visit a school as an admitted student, the visit should be very different. No more campus tours and info sessions for you! Instead look and see if the school hosts an Accepted Student Open House or Visit Program. See if you can spend the night with a current student and attend classes in your area of interest. Ask lots of questions, find out about scholarship monies or financial aid. Talk to friends of yours who may attend. Talk with your school counselor, and your parents... Try your best to gather as much information as possible to give you an idea of what your experience would be like there.

Geoff Broome
Assistant Director of Admissions Widener University

A day in the life

You should view the visit as if you were the student. What does a typical day look like? Eat in the cafeteria. shadow a student or sit in on a class. Put yourself in the shoes of a college student for that day. Can you picture yourself at that college?

Lynda McGee
College Counselor Downtown Magnets High School

How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

Congratulations! You now have the ball in your court, and you get to be the one who decides whether you will attend or not. if this is going to be your home for the next 4 years, then you need to be sure that it has what you need. The least important things are what your freshman dorm room looks like or whether the school offers round the clock excitement (which could be distracting!) What really matters is the people you will be living with, the accessibility of the professors if you are confused about something in class, and whether you will be comfortable with the classroom sizes and the overall "feel" of the campus. Trust your instincts, but don't expect that everything will be perfect. Just know what you need to be happy, and choose among your schools for the one that can do that the best. And don't panic! If you make a truly horrible choice, there's always the option of transferring.

Liz Myers-Chamberlin

How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

After you get accepted to a college/university, then the tables are turned, and now it’s your turn to check them out! Lots can change since you first applied. You’ll be spending the next four years there, so you’ll want to fully check out your options! If at all possible, it is a good idea to visit the campus in-person. There’s a lot you can learn from the information they send you, their website, advice from friends and family, but there’s nothing like actually visiting the campus and getting a feel for how it really is. Most colleges have a specific day that they reserve just for showing newly accepted students around. It’d definitely be good to go to this. Usually, there will be sessions to introduce you to faculty, staff, and current students. They’ll talk to you about academics, majors, student services, student clubs and activities, and most likely give you a tour of the campus and let you look in the dorms. This is a good way to get an overview of the campus, its programs, majors, and get a lot of your questions answered. You can also learn a lot from listening to the answers of questions that other students ask. In addition, there are some other things you can do while you’re there. Maybe it’d be a good idea to stick around a day or two, or come a day or two early, and just hang out on campus. Maybe grab lunch or dinner in the dining hall, and check out the general vibe on-campus. What are students talking about? Are they stressed out because of intense academics, or are they gearing up for the Friday night football game? Is there are football team? Do you care? What about fraternities and sororities? Do most of the students live on campus or is it more of a “commuter school? There are a lot of factors that make up the general “culture” of a college, and the students who go there. Speaking of students, be sure to look around and check them out. What’s your feeling about them? Do you think you’d have anything in common with some of them? Go where lots of them congregate. Do they seem a lot more intellectual than you, or do they seem like frat party types, while you’re more of a nerd? We don’t want to necessarily jump to any rash conclusions, or engage in stereotypes, but the fact is that we usually make friends with others who share certain similarities, interests and values. And it’s nice to have friends in college. You might want to drop by the department of your intended major. Pick up any information about the major they have. Most departments will have a major brochure, (and also a website you can check out later). Also just check out the office, the staff, faculty who wander through. Start up a conversation with a couple of students waiting in the office. What do they like about the college/major? What don’t they like? What’s on the bulletin board? Any interesting opportunities? You can learn a lot just by using your vast powers of observation. Check out the class schedule and attend an interesting sounding class or two. You can always just sit in the back in a large lecture hall, or if it’s a small class, you can ask the prof if it’s OK for you to observe. Since you’re parachuting into an on-going class, don’t expect to understand the lecture necessarily, just observe and take it all in. Repeat this process at the other schools you’re accepted to and want to consider attending. Sounds like a lot of work? Well, yes, but reasonably interesting and fun work, don’t you think? (Consider it sociological research? :) Hopefully you’ll find the school that suits you best. But also remember, and relax … nine times out of ten, students love the school they pick! Please feel free to talk to me anytime during this process. I’d like to hear how your research is going, and I can help you make this important decision. Good luck!

Kris Hintz
Founder Position U 4 College LLC

How should you approach a college visit as an accepted student?

Due diligence is the key. See if you can do an overnight visit, where you can see what campus life is really like at the school. Make sure you sit in on some classes to get the "feel" of what it would really be like to go to college there. See what the surrounding town or urban area is like, how easy or difficult it is to get to the city a suburban college brags about being near. If you know what major you want to pursue, meet with professors in the department. Make sure it has a robust, full program in your major. Will it meet your needs for all four years? Will you have enough opportunities to "do your thing" whether that means participating in performing arts programs or doing scientific research? You are about to spend $200K. Make sure you will be spending it wisely.