How To Make The Most Of A College Visit
Note: I will be conducting a free college admissions workshop titled, “Navigating The College Admissions Journey” on February 26th. Please scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more.
Last week I gave you 8 great questions to ask on a college visit. As we inch closer to March and more moderate weather a lot of you will be visiting colleges. And you should. This is a great time of year to visit. But you also need to make sure you are making the most of these visits.
Typically, colleges will have you sit in on an information session where you will hear from an admission counselor and possibly a current student or two before you go out on an hour to hour and a half long tour.
You will learn a lot about the school but you want to get beyond the basic facts so that you really get a feel for the campus, the people who teach and work there and the students who go there.
And here’s how you do it:
1. Sit in on a class in your major
This is a great way to get a feel for the academic quality of the school. Obviously one class is not going to tell you everything, but it should tell you some things. If you can shadow a student in your major for a day and actually attend a few classes and meet some other students, that would be even better!
2. Meet with a faculty member
If there’s one thing faculty like to do, its talk about what they teach. Their lives revolve around their work and if you are very decided with your major and want to know more about what you can expect from this school, scheduling a meeting with a faculty member who teaches in your major is a great way to go.
3. Attend a game or event
Check the college’s schedule ahead of time and see if there is anything going on when you will be visiting such as a basketball game, a visiting comedian or even a guest lecturer. This is a great way to get a feel for just how into their school the student body really is. If you find that there really isn’t a whole lot going on, that should tell you something about life outside the classroom.
4. Have lunch in the cafeteria
Leave yourself some time to have lunch in the cafeteria or even the student center. Let’s be honest, food is important and you want to get a feel for the quality of it. But this is also a great way to sit back and people watch. Can’t make it for lunch? Breakfast or dinner will also work.
5. Stay overnight
Some colleges will have formal overnight programs and others will not. You should always ask because if there’s a chance you can spend a day and then stay overnight in a residence hall with some current students, you will learn so much about the school.
If you’re interested in doing any of these items, especially the ones that need to be arranged, make sure you call and ask several weeks ahead of when you plan to visit. If you just show up at a college and expect them to get you into a class or into a meeting with a faculty member on the spot, it’s not going to happen.
If you have any questions you would like to ask, use the comment box below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you think this makes a lot of sense, consider sharing it with someone you know.
Learn More at Dobler College Consulting’s College Admissions Workshop
I will be hosting a free workshop titled, “Navigating The College Admissions Journey” this Tuesday, February 26th at the Huntington Branch Library in Shelton, CT. For more information or to reserve your seat, head over to my Events page.
The workshop shares strategies to help your son or daughter navigate the college admissions process while eliminating mistakes that tend to reduce their chances of admission. Topics include college lists, online resources, essays, interviews, campus visits and what you need to know about making college more affordable.
All workshop participants will receive information handouts and will be eligible for special discounts off private college counseling services.
Don’t live in or near Shelton? You can easily get in touch with me to set up a free 60-minute consultation to help address your pressing college admissions-related questions and issues.