1. When you’re visiting several colleges during the same trip, and you’re getting toward the end and they all seem to say the same things, and you’re getting a little tired of it all – hang in there. One of my students who visited 19 campuses during a ten-day trip from overseas told me that she stayed focused all the way through because, as she said, “I figured that the next one might be THE one for me, and I didn’t want to miss it.”
2. Take photos and take notes during the visits; then each night, write your reactions to the school in a journal. This will come in very, very handy two months later.
3. Parents and students might think about taking different tours, and comparing notes later. If you do take the same tours, try to keep your reactions to yourselves until afterwards – then compare notes.
4. Before or after the tour, eat breakfast or lunch somewhere on campus. Ask current students what they like and don’t like about the school. Don’t ask IF they like it, but WHY they like it. Come up with two or three questions to ask at every college and ask them of the tour guide and random students you meet.
5. Have fun!
First of all, if you did advanced planning, you’d have already had an interview w/the chairman of whatever dept your looking to get into, and more importantly, an appt w/the provost of the university. That surely can be the coup de gras!
Ask students: Are you happy here? Would you go again if you had the chance? Do you really get to know your professors? How hard is the work?
students should prepare a list of important questions during the college visit. one of the important thing to do is to schedule on campus interview for admissions.
When on a college visit some important things to ask are…..
Start before the visit by reading all the information sent by the college and on the college website, then write down questions that those sources haven’t answered – those are the ones to ask. Then consider whether you would like to speak with a professor in your areas of interest, or a coach, or …. And email admissions to request that contact. When you get go the campus, do everything you can both to get your questions answered and to get beyond the college’s marketing: read bulletin boards wherever you find them, including the chalked stuff on the walkways if students do that on the campus. Eat in the dining room and check out everything there. Cruise the library, art studios, music practice rooms, gym. And see when they’re open and how people behave there. TALK to people: remember that most students have done what you’re doing, and don’t be shy. (“People” includes adults: are the librarians friendly? How about the dining hall staff, people in the book store? If you’re at all worried about campus safety, talk to the campus police.) And take time to walk or drive around the area around the campus.
After your campus tour you should set aside some time to just wander and explore. You should make sure to stop in places such as the food court or dining hall so you can see how students interact with one another and what the general mood is on campus. If you’re planning to live on campus you’ll want to see the dorms. If this isn’t included in your tour, you should ask someone in the Admission Office if it’s possible to see a room before you leave. Another important thing to do during your visit is to eat the food! Many schools include lunch in the dining hall as part of your tour but, if it’s not included, just ask in the Admission Office if you can head over there on your own to eat.
Please ask for business cards from anyone with whom you interact. Common sense: now you know their title, email, and can spell their name correctly.
1. Ask specific questions.
Don’t throw your guide softballs like, “So, what are your most popular majors?” Instead, ask questions that will produce unique responses. Try asking, “What are some of your unique on campus traditions?” or “What’s your favorite thing to eat in the dining hall?” or “What type of student wouldn’t fit in here?”
The process of picking a school isn’t complete without the campus visit. Most colleges look pretty good as you flip through their glossy brochures and read statistics about their star students and athletes, but it’s important to inform yourself to make sure you’re getting the most trustworthy information. One of the best ways to do that is by visiting and touring the campus in person to get a feel for the atmosphere. Much can be accomplished during one of these excursions, and it’s important to plan well so you can get the most out of it. Taking a look at the following dos and don’ts will help ensure that you don’t waste your time.
What activities are taking place on the upcoming weekend? Which organizations have flyers on the bulletin board? Is social justice important? Is environmentalism prevalent? Is the social life centered around one type of association? Do you feel comfortable on campus? How is the food? Is there a lot to do on the weekends or do people go home? Do students and faculty meet outside of class?
When visiting a college it is important that you ask intelligent questions during the information session. DO NOT ASK standard questions that you can find out on the website: how many students go here? do you have a business major? Ask questions that show you have done your homework. Ask about particular programs you may be interested in, ask about housing and if they have learning communities, ask about first year programs, or ask about a particular feature about the university (such as a great outdoor program or leadership program.) Show the college admission representatives that you have really looked into their university. During the tour, ask questions. Don’t let your parents upstage you. Colleges want to know that your have driven the college application process, not your mom or dad. Read my blog about what parents should not do on a campus visit at http://collegeadventures.net/blog/2009/08/11/campus-visitswhat-parents/!
A visit to campus is the chance to get a feel for the vibe of the school. Pick a class of interest and sit in on the lecture/discussion. See if you can connect with a faculty member in your area of interest. Have a meal in the cafeteria and initiate conversation with your table mates. Pick up the school newspaper to read when you get home. Pay attention to bulletin board postings, student activity tables, library traffic. Try to get a sense for how engaged the students are on campus. Do folks stay around on the weekend, if so what do they do? Make sure the residence halls look like a place you’d feel good about going home to after a tough day of classes. If recreation is important to you, are you pleased with the facilities? And most of all, if possible see if you can spend an overnight on campus. That is when you’ll really see what goes on.
It depends on what your goals are for the visit, but it is always important to visit admissions, completing a tour and information session. If allowed, do an interview or an overnight visit with a current student. Attend classes, tour special facilities such as Engineering or Athletics. Meet with a coach, or a learning support specialist. Explore the neighboring community, eat on campus, and observe!
Ask about the labs, libraries, sports facilities, security, health centers, a chance of interaction with the current students and faculty, college culture and history, notable alumini etc.
First of all, if you did advanced planning, you’d have already had an interview the chairman of whatever dept your looking to get into, and more importantly, an appt w/the provost of the university. That surely can be the coup de gras!
To get the most of your face-to-face time with college admission representatives, ask questions that cannot be answered on their website. And always try to have one more question for them. It’s best to ask for examples rather than statistics. For instance, ask for stories about professors meeting with students outside of class. Instead of asking about the average class size, try asking, “How many students are in the largest class?” To get information about the grading system, try asking, “Last semester, how many multiple choice tests did you take compared to the number of papers you wrote?” Any time you can ask for real stories instead of generalities, you’ll get more out of your conversations.
The most important things to do and ask during a college visit will differ to a certain extent depending on where a student’s interests lie. It will be worthwhile to visit the facilities of the areas in which you are considering focusing your primary studies – science labs, math facilities, art or performance studios, etc. If possible, you might want to schedule interviews with members of the teaching staff in departments relevant to you. Ask about typical class sizes (the faculty:student ratio indicated in college statistics is not an indication of class size), the amount of interaction students have with their professors, whether classes are taught by professors or teaching assistants, research opportunities open to undergraduate students if this possibility if of interest to you, performance opportunities . . . Feel free to ask about anything that is important to you.
That will depend on what you need and want to know. Before you visit be sure to prepare. Go on the website. Look for the answers about the things that matter to you—the program and majors, costs and financial aid, the make-up of the student body, the realities of the social life, freshman retention and grad school placement rates. If you can’t find it in advance ask when you are there. See if you can sit in on a class and stop by the student center to see students in their natural habitat and see what they think of their school. Get answers to the things that matter to you and that will be important to the experience you seek.
Questions to ask which may help give an overall idea of the culture at the college:
Please don’t ask anything that can be found by looking the information up. This is your chance to really gain the student perspective. Ask questions that relate to you as the learner or you as the potential student. Look for verification as to why a particular school is on your list. Ask questions that provide proof that what you are looking at is the real deal.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.
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