Gearing up for your senior year? One of the most important things you can do this summer is visit the colleges that interest you. The campus visit can be the most important part of your college selection process, so make sure you get the most out of the time you spend at a school. Before you go, look through brochures and view the college's website to find out basic information. This will give you more time on the tour to find out information that is not found in the printed material. Here’s a quick checklist of what you can do to make the most of your campus visit:
Meet an admissions counselor. Even if the schools do not require a formal interview, talking one-on-one with an admissions counselor is a useful part of any college visit because he or she will be able to share information on deadlines, requirements, financial aid, and the overall process of preparing your application. For the schools that do require an interview, keep in mind that often times you can schedule this even before you formally apply. A college visit may be a great opportunity to fulfill an informational and/or formal meeting with an admissions counselor.
Take a tour. Campus tours led by students of the college are great ways to gain “insider” perspectives on what the student experience is really like. Ask them about the student culture. Don’t be too swayed by what individual students like or dislike about the social scene; just get the facts, and then determine what works best for you.
Tour the town. Not all your time in college will be spent in the classroom or on campus. Scope out the surrounding town to see what types of restaurants, clubs, stores and other establishments exist. Current students are great resources for activities on and off campus, so be sure to use them as a resource.
Take notes. Keep a notebook with all of your campus visit observations. This book will be a great resource if you forget some details. It’s also helpful to snap a few pictures of things that you really like or want to remember about a school.
Ask questions. This is your chance to get answers firsthand. Some questions you might ask:
- What distinguishes the college from other similar schools?
- What academic factors are considered during the admissions process?
- Are professors accessible outside of class?
- Are there tutoring services available on campus?
- What are the college's most popular academic programs?
- What kind of career services are offered to students?
- What percentage of students receive financial aid?
- What percentage of students live on campus?
- What types of meal plans are available?
- What hours may students access food services?
- What are the most popular extra-curricular activities?
- What do most students do on the weekends?
- What’s the surrounding city/town like?
- Are there sororities and fraternities on campus?
- How safe is the campus?
Meet as many people as possible. In addition to meeting with an admissions counselor, talk with professors to get an idea of what they expect out of a student. Speak with current students to see what they think about the college as a whole. Ask if they are happy with the college choice that they made and why. Essentially, don’t pass up an opportunity to find out more!
We wish you luck with your adventures this summer. If the Stevens admissions staff can be of any assistance during your application process, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com or 1-800-STEVENS.