10 Tips for Making the Most of a College Visit

Neyat is an Eritrean-American girl who is an aspiring writer. She enjoys reading teen fiction, looking up obscure music artists and celebrities on Wikipedia, and traveling. She hopes that one day when you teens are tired and middle-aged, you will walk into your local bookstore (to get away from your spouse and kids) and you will notice a book on the front display with her name on it as the bestselling author.

As many of you approach your junior and senior years of high school, the time for creating lists of possible college choices arrives. Part of narrowing the options on that list is to actually visit a few of the schools, and see if you can picture yourself at any of them. This process is quite similar to buying a home; college visits are like open houses, a chance to view a place before committing to it. So, after having experienced several college visits, I thought I’d provide 10 tips for making the most of all of your future visits!

1.      Pack a notebook and pen, in order to jot down notes about the school (write down the small tid bits of information that are crucial, but you probably won’t remember).

2.      If you’re going to a school in another state, try flying during a month that’s free of major holidays (this makes for cheaper plane/hotel tickets). Additionally, make sure to check what the weather will be like when you arrive…this way, you can avoid showing up to a blizzard in a summer dress.

3.      Bring a camera. Take pictures of the buildings, dorms, classrooms, etc. so that you can compare all of the schools, once you finish with your visits (you’d be surprised how much you forget after touring many campuses).

4.      Before visiting any school, make sure to check if it even has the major (s) you’re interested in (no need to visit a place that doesn’t have what you need).

5.      Go on college review sites and make a list of all of the pros and cons of the school you are about to visit. Then, when you arrive at the school, ask your tour guide about them, so that you know the pros actually exist…also, you may find out that some of the cons have been taken care of.

6.      Make a list of all of your necessities in a school (it’s really easy to get intrigued by any school when the tour guide is selling it so well, but don’t give in unless you can check of all of your needs.

7.      Try not going alone. Bring a parent (or any guardian/trusted person). It’s always great to have a second opinion…but, remember, in the end, where you get a higher education is 100% your choice.

8.      Schedule an interview. Most schools offer on-campus interviews, so you might as well have one while you’re there. You learn more about the school and you show the people at admissions that you’re interested.

9.      Plan an overnight stay. A lot of schools allow prospective students to stay overnight in actual dorm rooms. This really allows you to picture yourself at a school.

10.  ASK QUESTIONS! (Trust me, you’ll regret it if you don’t)

Well, there you have it; hope your college visits are successful! Happy, college campus hunting!



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One Response to “10 Tips for Making the Most of a College Visit”

  1. familyigloo
    March 23, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I would add as a parent

    11. Safety in the neighborhood

    12. Cost of living

    13. College affordability

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