It’s that time of year. High school graduates are starting to make their decisions for college and that means campus visits to all of the potential schools in the Fall. Don’t underestimate the importance of these visits as they are often the determining factor that sways the decision one way over another. So with that in mind, you’re going to want to make sure you plan these visits ahead of time in order to get the most out of each one. Don’t expect to just show up, take the tour, check out the student center, and move on to the next school on the list. That’s just not going to provide you enough of a basis on which to make an informed decision. With that said, here are some essential steps you’ll want to take when you’re planning your college campus visits.
Make a Checklist
You’re going to forget to ask something when you go, I guarantee it. Whether it’s a question about housing or financial aid, some important inquiry will slip your mind and you won’t realize it until you’re in the car and the visit is over. So it helps to write down a checklist of questions and other aspects of the campus you want to audit while you’re there. This will be especially helpful if there are more than a few visits planned. Jot down everything you want to cover at each campus and you’ll be sure not to forget a thing when you’re there. Be sure to ask about online courses as well, many schools offer them. Maryville’s online mba program is just one of the many that are available to students who are entering their college years.
Research Every School
You’ve undoubtedly done some of this already when you were deciding on where to apply, but in case you haven’t conducted a full appraisal of the campus first you should. It’s going to be a big help to you when you get there. Knowing at least the basics of the school you’re visiting will assist you in getting to know it better once you arrive and it will help you plan the visit better. Many schools offer certain tours and overnight stays and if you’re aware of these opportunities before-hand you can plan on making them a part of the visit.
Once you’ve done your due diligence, then you can plan to take advantage of any on-campus activities and tours that are provided. For those of you who have a major picked out already, you’ll want to arrange a meeting with any faculty or staff from that department. That can give you an even clearer picture of what life will be like on campus. You can discuss the curriculum, the expectations of the department on students, the size of the workload, and any other aspects of your studies in a one-on-one setting with your potential future professor. Arranging your visit before you get there will afford you a more complete experience.
Move Off the Beaten Trail
Just because you’re touring a new campus doesn’t mean you have to stay on the provided tour that the school has arranged for you. Take it, by all means, but when you’re done, wander around and talk to some students who you may not have encountered in your travels. Ask them questions, pick their brains about their experiences at the school and find out what they think. Chances are you’ll get an honest and in-depth answer from people who were in your position at one time.
Look into Security
The security measures at the school are just as important as the classes. Talk to the security department and ask about the protocols in place in the event some unfortunate incident occurs. Campus safety should play a significant role in the decision-making process, so find out what the policies are and inquire about any past incidents that happened there.