Tips for Planning College Visits

Although storms continue to pound the East Coast, spring is approaching! It's a great time to visit colleges while they are still in session. Here are some things to look out for while touring different colleges. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the many buildings, programs and informational tours. A preplanned checklist of what you want to see is a good idea.

Here are some bullet points of different things to look for while touring colleges:

- Admission Criteria
Requirements and What to Include with Application
College Essay Prompts (if available)
When to Apply
GPA & Test Scores (if required)
Scholarships Offered
Student Support/Counseling Center

- Academics
Professor Availability
Popular Programs
Average Size of Class (ratio to student)
Possible Internships
Study Abroad Opportunities
Available Technology
Library Facilities

- Campus Life
Greek - Fraternities/Sororities
Weekend Activities
Special Campus Events
How Many Students Live on Campus? Commute?
Sport Events
Dining Facilities
Party Scene

- Campus Setting
Where is College Located?
Too Remote? Too Urban? Near a City?
What is Surrounding Community Like? Campus Town?

- Look of the College
Dorms and Nearby Housing
Lecture Halls & Classrooms
Clean, Easy Access, Transportation
Security & Safety, Campus Police Availability
Current Building Projects
How Well Are Current Facilities Maintained?
Recreation Center

While you visit, here are some additional suggestions:

-Take a campus informational tour
-Set up an interview with an admission officer
-Audit a course
-Speak with a professor or representative at the department in your field of interest
-If you are pursuing athletics, talk to a coach in your sport
-If possible, stay overnight in a dorm with a friend or relative
-Pick up the campus newspaper
-Spend time in the Student Union and eat in the cafeteria
-Speak to students and ask questions
-Find the center of campus and have a seat for 30 minutes
-Take a look at the college bookstore
-Ask a student what he/she loves and hates about the college
-Tour the community surrounding the campus
-Ask a student if you can see their dorm room
-Ask yourself if you could feel at home at this college
-Take lots of notes and pictures
- Learn about tuition

Enjoy yourself!