Spring break is around the corner and a lot of high school juniors are planning on their college visits over this period. In fact, it is highly suggested by school advisors and admission officers that students use college visits as part of their preparation for application. How can you maximize your college visits?
Make a College Visit List and Plan Ahead
To put together a realistic and efficient list of colleges for your visit, consider the following factors: your target schools and their level of importance to you; budget and duration of the entire tour; and relative distance between school locations. After you have the list of schools you plan on visiting, check out each school’s admission page online for the dates and times of school tours and information sessions. You can usually sign up directly, or call the admission office to talk about scheduling options.
When to Visit
Most of the high schools have different spring break dates than colleges do, so utilize the time to check out schools when they are in session! This is a great opportunity for you to see what kind of environment and vibes each school has. Be sure to check your target schools’ academic calendars and schedule your visit accordingly.
What to Do During the Tour
Don’t miss out the initial info session! Info session is the time when you get to become more familiar with the schools and hear about others’ questions. Besides following the tour guide and getting a general sense of the overall environment, we suggest you also talk to current students and ask them about their experiences and opinions. Prepare some questions beforehand and ask different people to hear about different perspectives. If time allows, pick one or more large classes that you may be able to sit in and observe. It is also a great idea to grab a copy of the school’s newspaper to know what has been going on around campus recently.
Things to Keep in Mind
Take others’ comments on the school with a grain of salt. Gather information for your own evaluation instead of being swayed by other people’s opinions.
Take notes or pictures to record your experiences for later reference. You may be able to draw in some details during interview with the specific schools, which will be a big plus to your application!
Have fun along the way! Preparing for standard tests and keeping up grads are enough to worry about - take the tour as a chance to relax and broaden perspectives.
Here are some other helpful articles on college visits!