The College Visit
Visiting the campus is one of the best ways to find out if the school is a good “fit” for you. Catalogs and videos are designed to make the campus look beautiful, the students happy, and the professors as interested in teaching as they are in publishing books and articles. An on-campus visit will allow you to get the feel of the campus. It will allow you to ask questions and see the workings of the school from your point of view. Some pointers to consider in planning a successful campus visit are:
Juniors and seniors are allowed three (3) days each year for an on campus visit. Forms are available in the Dean’s Office. Three signatures are required in order to receive an excused absence: the Dean, the parent, and an official from the school visited. Upon returning from the visit, the student must bring the signed form to the Dean’s Office.
- Ask to talk to an admissions counselor. Take an unofficial copy of your transcript along with PSAT, SAT, and ACT scores. If you are close on admission standards, ask about your chances for admission, and what you need to do your senior year to improve your chances. Ask about the retention rate. How many graduate in four years?
- Take a tour of campus. This, likely, will be provided by students. Talk to these people about their experiences with the school. Try to talk to other students as well. Look at the library, the fitness center, the union, a dorm room, and dining facilities. Ask about rules for living in the dorm, safety on campus, and vehicles on campus.
- Attend classes. If you are there when classes are in session, sit in on a typical English 101 or biology class.
- Meet with a professor in an academic area that interests you. Get specifics such as how much math and/or science is needed for this major? Is there a co-op program available? Are there special groups or associations for this major? What is the job placement rate and beginning salary range for graduates in this major?
- Stay overnight if possible. Talk to students to find out about their likes and dislikes.
- Be on time for your appointment.
- After your visit, jot down your impressions of the campus and call the admissions office with any new questions which occur to you.
- Send thank you notes to those with whom you had appointments.