Your College Visit Checklist

[fa icon="calendar"] 12/31/19 4:09 PM / by Farah Weheba

Farah Weheba

University tours try to razzle–dazzle you with alumni facts, trivia, fun facts about parts of the campus that have appeared in movies, etc. Prepare a list so you can stay present and get swept up in the excitement, but gather the info you set out to collect along the way. 


stanford-1094778_640Some reasons you may want to attend a university ...

  • The campus culture (student activism, inclusiveness, religious belief alignment, well-supported community centers, etc.) 
  • Classes or unique interdisciplinary majors
  • Specific professors or research labs aligned with your intellectual curiosity.
  • Family legacy, athletic rivalries, industry partnerships.

 

A School Visit Checklist to Clip to your Clipboard

Keeping a list of questions that are important to you ahead of time and a checklist can help you enjoy the hype while still staying focused on gathering useful information. 

When you take campus tours, bring a pen and a fanny pack. And this checklist.

 

Print Me Out and Take Me With You 

 

I will be visiting ............. Schools: ............. in-state and ............. out-of-state.

❏ A public school: ........................................................................................................

❏ A private school: .......................................................................................................

❏ A large university (5000+ students): ...................................................................... 

❏ A mid-size school (1000 - 4000 students): ............................................................. 

❏ A small college (1 - 900 students): .......................................................................... 

❏ A school known for specializing in my niche academic interest

❏ Your Specific Area of interest: ......................................................................................... 

❏ College or University: ................................................................................ 

Schedule Meetings

For _______________________ University, I have scheduled:
❏  An official campus tour
❏  An information session  
❏ I'm auditing a lecture

Optional

❏ Tour the athletic center

❏ Meet with a student or alumni
❏ Attend professor office hours

❏ Financial Aid Office if you have tuition/ aid questions 

❏ Office of Accessible Education if you want to learn about accommodations and advocacy for any medical or environmental accommodations you may need to perform your best on campus. 


SCHOOL NAME____________________  Pro tip: consider printing extras for each school you’re visiting ​

❏ Admissions Office Address:

_____________________________

❏ Comfy but professional shoes

❏ Bottled water

❏ Protein packed snack

❏ Professional Attire  

❏ This checklist, Journal and/ or Tablet

❏ Pen or Pencil

During Your Visit

Campus Tour

❏ Planned Question: ......................................................................................................................... 

❏ Favorite Part: ............................................................................................................................ 

❏ That was awkward: .................................................................................................................. 

❏ Main Impressions: .......................................................................................................................

Information Session

❏ How many students attend this school? ...........................................................

Do most students...

❏ live on campus?

❏ live near campus?

❏ commute from home?

❏ Are there tiered pricing options for dorm housing? (Sometimes, there's a spectrum)

❏  Are there any unorthodox features of the application process unique to just this school (Mandatory creative portfolio, extra SAT II subject test requirement, extra essays, etc)?

If Yes: .................................................................................................................

Does this school have any special programs that interest me, like a selective literary themed dorm or a green living space? ❏ No ❏ Yes: .........................................................................................................


SCHOOL NAME_____________________ ​Pro tip: consider printing extras for each school you’re visiting ​

❏  How does this school differ from other colleges/universities? ....................................................................................................................................................
❏  What is this school especially proud of? Does that matter to me? ................................................................................................................................................
❏  New Fact: .............................................................................................................................

❏  Surprising Fact: .........................................................................................................................

❏  Main Impressions: ........................................................................................................................

Lecture
❏  Could I take a course of this level of difficulty? ........................................................................................
❏  Do I enjoy this teaching style? Was the professor engaging? Did I learn something new? ...................................................................................................
❏  Does the lecture hall have a good setup for media and multi-modal teaching tools?
....................................................................................................................................................

❏  Would I enjoy attending classes here? .................................................................................

Exploring the Environment

❏ Are there community centers here that celebrate my heritage and act as spaces to gather/ learn?

❏ Are there student spaces here where I can engage other heritages, traditions, ethnicities? 

❏ Are there study spaces that support my studying style? 

❏ I need some ambient noise. I can find that on this campus at ______________________. 

❏ I need complete and utter silence. I can find that on this campus at ____________________. 

❏ What are the library/ student union hours? ______________________________

❏ I'm a night owl. I could see myself studying at _______________ at 2am. 

❏ I'm a morning person. I could see myself studying at ______________ at 6am. 

 

❏ Surprises: ..............................................................................................................................

❏ Favorite Part: ........................................................................................................................

❏ Well, That's Awkward: ..............................................................................................................

❏ Main Impressions: ...................................................................................................................

 


SCHOOL NAME____________________  Pro tip: consider printing extras for each school you’re visiting ​

After Your Visit

Thank-You Notes

❏ Interviewer

❏ Professors

❏ Alumni or students interviewed

Summarize Your Visit

❏  Ranking : ◯1 ◯2 ◯3 ◯4 ◯5

❏  Your summative impressions: 

................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................. ................................................................................................................................................. .................................................................................................................................................


SCHOOL NAME ____________________ ​Pro tip: consider printing extras for each school 

Athletic Center

(Athletics central to your profile? Then be sure to visit athletic training and dining facilities)

❏  Facilities up to date/ can you thrive and grow your athletic prowess with this equipment? ................................................................................................................................................

❏  What access will I have to gyms as a student vs as a recruited student athlete? .................................................................................................................................................

❏  Am I able to walk onto a team? Intramural? Varsity? .......................................

❏  When are practices for my sport typically held? ............................................................

❏  How far are athletic facilities from the rest of campus? ................................................

❏  How do students integrate exercise into campus life as a lifestyle? For example, everyone bikes to class on the very large campus: ..............................................................................................................................

❏  Surprising Fact: .....................................................................................................................
❏  Main Takeaway: .....................................................................................................................


Campus Dining

Do you have food allergies or dietary restrictions? Do you have specific macros you must consume to maintain a certain weight for athletic or health reasons? Visit the campus dining locations and inquire about nutrition options. 

❏  Do the dining options here meet my dietary needs?

❏ Whole foods?

❏ Variety?  

❏ Protein options? 

❏ Vegetarian options? 

❏ Local/ seasonal produce? 

❏ Food Waste is handled ethically/ sustainably? 

❏  Are there proper cross-contamination practices for gluten free and/or peanut allergy requirements? .................................................................................................................................................

Enjoy your college visits! They'd be lucky to have you! 

Learn How Empowerly Can Empower You

 

Topics: College Applications, Life in College, College: Deciding Where to Apply & Attend, College-Specific Info, Summer Planning, College visits + interviews

Farah Weheba

Written by Farah Weheba

Farah is a Brooklyn-based Community Director at Empowerly, a college counseling and essay editing company serving and supporting ambitious high school students. Farah has a BA in psychology from Stanford University, and a Master's in Education under the Stanford Learning, Design, and Technology discipline graduating in 2014.

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