The campus visit is an essential part of the college decision process. Visiting different campuses will help you better understand which college is right for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind when visiting the campuses.
Pick the schools you want to visit. Make a list of schools that you are interested in attending. If you can't visit every school on your list due to time constraints or financial reasons, try to narrow down the list to only your top choices. Pick the ones that you really want to see in person. If you find it hard to narrow down to your top choices, then pick schools that are very different from each other, e.g. small, large, rural, urban. This will help you compare and contrast schools so you can decide which type is right for you.
Research the schools. Before you visit a college campus, you should do a little research on the school. Look through brochures and view the college's website to find out basic information. This will give you more time on the tour to find out information that is not found in the printed material.
Pack a journal/tablet. Since you may be seeing a lot of campuses, a journal or tablet will come in handy if you forget any details about certain colleges. Take notes about academic, financial, housing, athletic, and social facts related to each college so you will not mix up information. You can refer back to your notes when deciding which colleges you want to send applications.
Meet with various members of the campus community. Meet with an admissions officer to discuss the school's requirements, deadlines, and financial aid programs. Talk with professors to get a feel of what they expect out of a student. Speak with current students to see what they think about the college as a whole. Ask if they are happy with the college choice that they made. Since students are not employed by the college, they will not give you biased answers.
Take the admissions tour. The tour guide will show you the main parts of the campus as well as answer any questions that you may have. Take advantage of this opportunity to find out history and other facts about the college.
Take your own tour. After the admissions tour is over, you may want to take time to tour the campus on your own. This will allow you to view areas that were not part of the admissions tour, such as the parking facilities or actual classrooms. Check out areas that will specifically pertain to your major. If you want to major in biology, check out the labs. If you want to major in music, take a look at the music rooms.
Don't forget to ask questions. You may want to prepare a list of questions to ask beforehand just to make sure that you don't forget anything. Ask questions regarding academic, financial, housing/food, social, community, athletic, and safety aspects.
For more information about visiting college campuses, read The Campus Visit and Making the Most Of the Campus Visit. Remember, if you can't visit a campus in person, you can always take a virtual tour of the school.