Visiting Schools: Tips & Suggestions
Summer vacation is coming, and it’s the perfect time to visit colleges! Since these visits can be hectic, stressful, and overwhelming, we want to share some great tips to get the most out of your college visits.
1) Start early — it’s never NEVER too early to start looking at colleges. Even if you’re tagging along with your older sibling, or proactive in visiting schools as a sophomore, it’s always great to start the process as early as you can.
2) Pick a few schools in the same area — make a list of schools from the same geographic area, so you can make the most out of your trip. Try looking in and around Boston, upstate NY, or DC; these areas are packed full of schools, so you can see a ton on one easy trip.
3) Register EARLY — if you’re touring during Spring Break, holiday weekends, or even over the summer you should register as early as possible for tours, information sessions, and on campus interviews since these times tend to fill up fast.
4) Schedule admissions interviews — make the most out of your visit to the school’s campus by signing up for an interview on campus (if they are offered, usually in the late summer or fall). It allows you to not only hit two birds with one stone by interviewing on your first visit, but it also let’s you get a one-on-one chance to learn more about the school and whether you want to attend.
5) Make sure your visit counts — many schools track demonstrated interest (your interest in the school by directly engaging with their campus, admissions office, and other areas of the school), so you want to make sure you are registered for tours, information sessions, and interviews. You can even contact the school after your visit to thank the admissions department for your visit.
6) Reach outside the admissions office — consider reaching out to a professor from a department you’re interested in and even try to meet with them while you’re on campus. Also look into specific departmental open houses, events, and opportunities to connect with your desired area of study. Try asking professors questions like this:
- Are most of your classes lectures or seminars?
- What is a typical class size?
- What sort of advising do students receive?
- Are professors available to students outside of class?
- Are students involved in research with professors?
- Could you describe what type of student does best at this school?
7) Talk to current students — get proactive and talk to students outside the admissions office. A great way to meet students is to go to the student center or wander around a central location on campus. Try asking students questions like this:
- Why did you choose this school?
- What do students do in the evenings and on weekends?
- What do you like most about attending this school?
- If you could change anything, what would it be?
- Do most people live in the dorms or off-campus
8) Remember: this visit is about you — ask tons of questions, don’t hesitate to talk to students, professors, and staff, and above all remember to trust your gut!
Now, with all of these tips and tricks in mind, head to the internet, start researching schools, and hit the ground running with school visits! And always remember if you have questions or need more help, A-List is here to help guide you through this whole process.