Learning about your college options is an important part of the application process. Campus visits are the best way to really get a first-hand experience. There are presentations by faculty, personalized tours, and the opportunity to learn more about the area. Even if you’re looking at a local college, make sure you get in at least a tour to get an inside view of campus life. Location is only one of the areas you need to look at when deciding which campuses to consider.

Picking a campus to visit

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing which campuses to visit. Keep in mind that tuition shouldn’t be a huge factor when looking at colleges. There are other items that you should think about, such as your major, student life, and college’s reputation. Are there groups on campus that cater to your interests? Check the college’s sports teams, if they have them. is the college focused on sports, academics, or the arts? A college education is all-encompassing, including not only degree studies but a whole range of other influences on a student’s experience.

Location

Where do you want to spend the next 4+ years of your life? It may not be local. For some students, getting as far away from the parental home is a major factor. Every college campus is different – venues, sports arenas, and buildings on campus, to name a few. Each campus visit may have very similar student life activities in a completely different layout. Do you want to live in the city or in a more suburban location? Some campuses are spread out, spanning different buildings on a city block (or a few.)

Keep in mind you’re probably not going to be in the dorms all four years… what’s it like getting an apartment? What are rents like in the area? Many college campuses have local affordable housing geared toward college students within a short distance of the campus. Would you need a car, a bike, or use public transportation?

Your Campus Visit will be very informative.

Planning your campus visit

A campus visit should not be wasted. There are lots of things you can do to get ready to experience your campus. We mentioned some of the things to think about above. Here’s the research you need to do to be fully informed about your visit.

Investigate your college

Don’t be afraid to dig deep! Your college has multiple social media profiles; check for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Are there any student publications? Listen to the student radio station. Don’t be afraid to take some time and explore student groups on campus, from cultural groups to singing groups. Does your college have a strong arts presence? See if you can find some of their performances on YouTube.

Meet your tour guide

The tour is the best way to get an inside look at your campus. Your tour guide will be a student at the campus, giving them a valuable view on what’s going on. What should you ask them? Here are some ideas:

  • What activities or sports is the college known for?
  • What groups are popular on campus?
  • What do you like most about this college?
  • What is it like to live here, either in the dorms or locally?
  • Do you have a job? Work-study?

Campus visits are necessary to get an up close and personal view of your potential school. With a little preparation, you’ll be ready to ask the questions you want answered the most. There are a lot of aspects of a college that you’ll be able to see on a campus visit. The most important thing is to HAVE FUN!

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