Friday, August 28, 2015

Visiting Campus: Part 1 - When Should I Visit?

Hi everyone and Happy Friday! For those of you who have started school, I hope your first week went well! For those of you who don't start for a few days or even a few weeks, enjoy the last little bit of summer.

An important topic when discussing the college search process is visiting college campuses. Visiting a campus is one of the most important factors in deciding to apply to the college and even deciding to enroll at that university. Because of its importance, I am doing a four-part series about visiting colleges! Please feel free to leave questions or comments in the comments section and I will be sure to address them!

Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
 Part 1: When should I visit?

Open House vs. One-on-One Visit
Colleges, especially during the Fall and Spring, have many large visit opportunities for prospective students. These Open Houses offer information sessions, campus tours, and the ability to meet with faculty and other staff members. They usually offer a lot of information and these are really great for a first visit to the campus. A one-on-one visit is a visit that you schedule yourself with the Admissions Office, usually it will just include an interview and a tour of campus. It will typically be just you and the tour guide or you and another family, so the tour can be really customized to what you want to see on the campus. Also, if you miss a day of school for a college visit, ask your Admissions Counselor if you could get a notice from that university to give you an excused absence.

Go When Classes are in Session
A campus can have a totally different feel when students are on campus from when they aren't. Seeing how the students interact with each other and with other faculty and administrators will show you what your experience could be like on that campus. You also might be able to sit in on a class if you visit while classes are going on. Talk with the Admissions Office about being able to sit in on a class when you come to visit. If given enough notice, they can usually plan it for you!

Hamilton College, Clinton, NY
Junior year vs. Senior Year
If you know a college or two that you like and plan to pursue, visit those colleges in the Spring of your Junior year. A lot of universities will offer a Junior Open House in April, so take advantage of that! They will offer information sessions about the college but also about the college search process in general, so that will be useful! Visiting the campus in your Junior year will also help you decide if you still want to pursue that college. You may see that after visiting the university that the campus doesn't fit your personality, so no need to spend more time pursuing it than necessary! Going your Senior year is best for your second visit to the institution. (I will discuss more about the 1st vs. 2nd visit later on in the series.)

If you have questions or comments about when you should visit a college, please feel free to leave them in the Comments section and I will address them later on in the series! Have a great weekend everyone!

enjoy the chase,

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