What Should I Do During a College Visit?
Our college expert Mark Kantrowitz answers your questions about college and financial aid.
Q: What should I do during my college visits to get the most out of them?
A: Bring a notebook with you on your college visits to take notes about each college. Otherwise, all the college campuses will tend to blur together, especially if you visit them in rapid succession. It can also help to bring a camera with you, since pictures can help jog your memory.
Here’s a list of standard things to do during a college visit:
- Go on a campus tour
- Attend an information session in the admissions office and if the opportunity presents itself, do an interview with the admissions staff (send them a thank you note)
- Sit in on a class
- Arrange with the admissions office to meet with a faculty member in a field of interest to you, then ask about opportunities to work with faculty
- Stay overnight in the dorm with a student
- Visit the college library and athletic facilities
- Visit the financial aid office
- Visit the dining hall to get a taste of their food
- Visit the student center and campus bookstore
There are less typical things to give you a sense of whether you’ll be happy at the college:
- Wander the campus to get a feel for it
- Get lost and ask someone for directions
- Stop a random student and ask what they like the most and least about the college
- Visit the career services office
- Explore off-campus for restaurants, bookstores and shops
- Get a copy of the student newspaper