A campus visit is your opportunity to find out what a college is really like. Most colleges provide tours and information sessions on a regularly scheduled basis, and will provide these schedules to you when you call the Admissions Office. Individual interviews are rarely required, except at the most selective colleges. Your visit can help you decide if a college will be a good place for you to continue your education. If you really want to find out what a college is like, you should investigate on your own before you meet with anyone from the college. Remember, colleges are wide open. You can visit the cafeteria, classrooms and labs. If you ask, many students will show you their dorm rooms.
Try This Approach:
- Arrange your visit on a day when classes are in session. Arrive on campus early. Go to the cafeteria. Stop at any table and ask how the food really is. Ask about quality, quantity, and hours of cafeteria operation. How long do you have to wait during prime times, like lunch hours? Let the students know you are considering transferring to their school. They’ll probably tell you what the school is really like.
- Head over to the classroom buildings where the courses you are interested in are held. You’ll be able to see how many students really are in the classes. Ask students in the hallways about their majors, the quality of the teachers, and whether many courses are taught by graduate students.
- If you’re in a program that requires labs, such as science, information technology, or nursing, go over to the labs, and look in on the classes which are in progress. Are there enough lab spaces for everyone? Speak with the students you see. Do they have problems with labs; are there enough stations and equipment? What hours are the labs open?
- If you’re going to be living on campus, go to the residence halls. How is the security? Were you able to get in without a key? Did anyone question who you are or whom you’re visiting? Speak with students. Ask to see their rooms. Ask how many are usually placed in a room. How hard is it to get into the “better” halls? Another thing you’ll want to investigate is the quality of life in the hall. Is it a place you would like to live? Is it clean and well-maintained, despite the clutter you would expect? Read the notices on the bulletin boards – they can provide a wealth of information.
After you have completed your own “tour” of the campus, you can report to the Admissions Office for your meeting. When the college representative tells you there are small classes, lots of lab space, new residence halls, great food, and happy students, – you’ll know if that’s really true!