Making the most of your campus visit
The biggest question is typically WHEN should I visit? I recommend students visit between the summer of your sophomore and junior year or the spring of your junior year. To get a sence of the different types of college environments, it maybe even a good idea to begin with any local colleges you have in your area.
To begin, surfing the college website is the first thing I would suggest. Checking aout everything the site has to offer from online tours to students reviews, to college ratings, helps you get a "flavor" of the campus. Browsing the admissons office site or calling ahead is essential to an effecient visit. Most campus tours or information sessions require a pre-registration, so make sure you schedule and sign in at the admissions office. After doing some research online, arrive with a list of questions that you would like to have answered. Jot notes, or impressions you found on the website. It is important for an effective visit to try and visit when school is in session. Here, you could observe the campus in action, meet and talk to current students, get a vibe of the environment. While on campus keep an open mind and positive attitude. After the pre-arranged tour or information session, try to explore on your own. This is the chance to talk to students, sample the food, explore the student union, read the student bulletin boards, see what's going on during the weekends. Sometimes the admisisons office offer prospective students an opportunity to sit in on a class or even stay overnight. These opportunities give students an even deeper impression of the campus.
If you are an athlete, this is a good time to schedule a visit with a college coach.
College visits can be confusing and overwhelming. Be sure to capture some of your impressions with your smart phone.Take some photos, take notes, and maybe video certain areas.