Visiting a college before selecting it is extremely important. If you are going to spend the next 4 years (possibly 6) of your life at this institution, you need to make sure you like it. Think about it, you wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first right? Then why shell out thousands of dollars on a college you have yet to visit?
Doing the research and looking at the pictures is not enough for understanding what college life will actually be like. Rather, when you visit a college for the first time it becomes clear if you can actually see yourself attending that school or not. A campus visit will give you a firsthand view of a college that a catalog, brochure, or website cannot provide. To really get the feel of a college you need to walk the campus, sit in on a class, and visit the dorms. Similar to what you experience during a Renaissance College Tour.
A campus visit can also give you a chance to speak with students, faculty, and financial aid and admission’s officers. You can get answers to many of your questions and realize questions you didn’t otherwise have.
Most colleges offer information sessions and campus tours. If you are able, do both of these activities. Often you will need to register online ahead of time to guarantee your spot. The best times to visit a campus is during the fall or spring, when the beauty of the campus is apparent. Also aim for times when students are there, so you can observe the real thing.
You don’t have to wait until your senior year to start visiting colleges. It’s never too early to start envisioning your future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask some students what they think about their school. Ask questions like: How do like this place? What do like most about it? What don’t you like? Any tips for an applicant?
When you tour a school it may be a good idea to take someone with you who is invested in your future, such as a parent. Someone who will ask important questions and share their honest opinion with you.
Lastly, take notes! If you are unable to write during the visit make sure you write down your experiences, facts about the school, and your thoughts as soon as possible. This will help you sort out your decision later on, especially if you have visited numerous schools.
So don’t keep putting it off. Start out with some local schools to give yourself and idea of what you are looking for in a school. Do some research online first to make sure the school has the major and other characteristics you are looking for. Once you are able to narrow down your options start visiting! Take advantage of college tours offered through your school or The Renaissance Education Group, Inc. Good luck!