The BEST WAY to evaluate what college suits you is to visit as many campuses as possible. You do not even need to visit the exact campuses you are interested in if they are too far to visit. Simply taking time to tour a variety of campuses in the area so you can get a good feel for the type of campus that suits you best is very important.
10 tips to think about when visiting a college:
1. Learn about the college from websites and mailed materials before you visit. Plan to visit for half a day at each college.
2. Evaluate the environment of the campus. Too big? Too small? Too isolated? Too cold?
3. Visit the admissions office to learn more specific information about what they are looking for.
4. Take a student-led campus tour. It’s great to ask your peers what it’s really like living and studying there.
5. Check out the dorms. What are the living options on campus? Are they coed? Are they all freshman? Location?
6. Set up meetings with department heads in subjects that interest you most, as well as coaches in sports, and former graduates from your high school.
7. Sit in on classes and check out the library.
8. What are some campus activities outside of academics? Theater, athletics, social groups, etc.
9. Eat lunch in the student center and watch student interactions. Talk to students who are experiencing it now. Ask about their likes and dislikes.
10. Remember to write down your impressions after each college visit so you can compare them later. Keep a list of pros and cons.
(ICEA, November 2015)
Spring break is the best time to schedule campus visits as the schools are most likely going to be open and in full swing. Visit the websites for each school to schedule your visit online.