The Student Guide to Planning an Individualized College Visit
“When it comes to researching potential schools, there is nothing better than the college visit,” says The Princeton Review, a company that offers college admissions and test prep services. “If possible, visit every college that you are strongly considering. No website, guidebook, or testimonial will give you a better feel for a school than you’ll get by showing up on campus. Many students change their minds after a college visit.”
Going on college visits during high school is certainly a crucial step in the process of choosing a school. These visits take time and planning, but, ultimately, they help teenagers choose their path to the future.
If you are a high school student looking to make the most of your college visits, we have created a visual guide that demonstrates how to customize your college visit itinerary. Click on the preview below to see the full graphic.
Planning a College Visit
Part of creating your own college visit itinerary is planning for it ahead of time. Try the college visit planning tips for students listed below to prepare for a great trip.
- Research the college or university online before the visit. It can help you determine what you’d like to learn more about while on campus.
- Schedule a visit with the college admissions office a couple of weeks in advance. The school might only be open to prospective students on certain days, and it will need some warning if you want to schedule an interview with an admissions advisor or professor.
- Go on a visit while school is in session so you can see what a typical day on campus is like.
- Start visiting colleges during your junior year. This will get you excited about the college search and show you the different types of schools that are out there.
- Visit the schools you want to apply to so you can evaluate and narrow down the options. It helps to visit more than one school. Plus, you can visit a school more than once if it will help you make a decision.
- Prepare a list of questions to bring on the visit, and carry a notebook for taking notes. Remember to write down the email addresses or phone numbers of college students and professors who are willing to answer your questions later.
- Create a college wish list. Make a list of the things you are looking for in a college. Once there are about 15–20 items on the list, pick the top five to get a better sense of your top priorities.
- Arrive at the college or university with an open mind. Don’t let factors such as bad weather affect your judgment. Stay focused on what the classes, students, and professors are like. Try not to form any opinions right away. Instead, wait until the visit is over to discuss whether the college is a good fit.
Do you have any tips for visiting colleges to share with current high school students? Offer your advice in the comments section.