Call the Admissions Office well ahead of time to schedule an appointment for a campus tour and interview.
Arrange to visit specific departments of interest to you or sit in on a class.
Allow enough time to get a real feel for the campus.
Schedule your interview after the campus tour, if possible. This will give you a better sense of what the campus is like; you may also find new or more specific questions to ask.
Don’t schedule more than two campus visits in a day.
PREPARING FOR THE CAMPUS VISIT:
Check out the school’s website or ask the Admissions Office to send you information and a catalogue. Explore special opportunities the college provides for interested students:
Many colleges have special programs or Open Houses scheduled during the year (and in the summer) for visiting students and their families that include group activities and information sessions.
If visiting a college is not within your means, call the admissions office, they may be able to help make special arrangements (ex. bus trip from the city).
If you simply cannot visit the school – you can usually take a VIRTUAL TOUR on the website or ask the school if they have a video they can send you.
Before the visit, take a look at the campus map to get the lay of the land.
Leave plenty of travel time for unexpected traffic and getting lost. GET DIRECTIONS.
Review academic programs and activities that interest you. When you call to arrange your visit, ask to:
See the facilities for your sport and ask to speak to a coach.
Visit a particular lab or studio that relates to your special interests: the physics lab, the dance studio, the campus radio station, the art studio, etc.
Sit in on a class, talk to a professor, meet with students in your major.
Spend the night on-campus so you can get a student’s eye view of the campus and experience dorm life.
Do your homework. When you investigate the college, find out about the size of the student body and the freshman class, male/female ratio, diversity, the size and qualifications of the faculty, admissions requirements, etc. Then you will not have to ask these easy to find answers to questions in the interview.
WHEN ON CAMPUS:
Get a general impression: are there students around? If not, why not? What is the atmosphere like – laid back, bustling, tense, gloomy, etc.
Don’t let the jerky tour guide or bad weather cloud your view of the school.
Take a closer look: What shape are the campus buildings in? What kind of security is evident? Do you feel comfortable, safe, walking around?
Go to places where students congregate: the student union, the bookstore, the main cafeteria.
Talk to students in their natural habitat SEE A DORM ROOM. Ask them what they like and don’t like about the school.
Get a copy of the school newspaper: What are the top stories? What kind of activities are listed: movies, bands, theater, sports, etc.
Take notes: Things that you like, things that you don’t like. What’s missing; what’s surprising?
Keep your appointment, and if you can’t make it for some reason, be sure to call ahead of time to cancel or reschedule. You don’t want to start out with a reputation of being unreliable.
HAVE FUN!! YOU’RE THE CUSTOMER – THEY ARE TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU AS MUCH AS YOU ARE TRYING TO IMPRESS THEM.