Since college costs are rising, it is more important than ever to plan carefully to visit your top college choices. Many colleges have a campus visit coordinator on staff who is happy to help you set up your visit. These events should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, if possible. Your first call should be to the Office of Admissions who can refer you either to the campus visit coordinator or the admissions representative for your region. In either case, this person can help tailor your visit for maximum effect. Remember that as a consumer, you will be purchasing a very expensive education, so you want to "test-drive" these colleges very thoroughly to avoid transferring at a later time.
Although there are always time constraints, consider this list of important activities and see how many you can work into your visitation schedule:
- Participate in a student-led campus tour.
- Meet or interview with an admissions officer and a financial aid representative.
- Talk with a faculty member who teaches in your major field and/or sit in on a class.
- Pick up a school newspaper; read what is posted on the bulletin boards.
- Talk to a coach in your chosen sport.
- Talk to a student or counselor in the career center about job placement.
- Spend the night in the dorm with a current student.
- Tour the community that surrounds the campus.
- Eat at the student union or school cafeteria to see if you like the food.
- Evaluate student transportation if you are not allowed to bring a car the first year.
In each meeting with college representatives, there are a number of questions that you should try to get answered. Consider the following suggestions: