Access to Education
Ciara Holland, Recent High School Graduate
Eastmoor Academy High School
You have heard the old metaphor, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Similarly, a “campus visit is worth a thousand brochures.” Perhaps, you have heard of the horror stories of students applying to schools based on the prestige and beautiful brochures of the university. Of course, when they arrived to move into the residence halls they discovered that the nearest lake is two hours away. A campus visit might have solved that problem.
How to Schedule Your Campus Visit
Many universities and colleges have made it easier than ever to arrange a campus visit! Generally, there are several ways in which students and parents can arrange a campus visit. The first approach is to simply contact the admissions office by phone to arrange your campus visit. The second approach is to arrange a campus visit through their website. If you still are uncertain about how to schedule your campus visit, email the admissions office requesting information on how to schedule a campus visit.
Remember once you have scheduled your campus visit, it will be important for you not to lose sight of the reason(s) you are visiting. That is to say the purpose of the visit is to determine if the college/university is a good fit for you.
The Best Time To Visit
Generally, the best time to visit a campus and experience the campus environment is during the spring of your junior or the fall of your senior year. Although you may have more time to make college visits during the summer, your observations will be much more accurate when you can see the current students in action and the campus in full swing during the spring or fall seasons. Your parents should also be actively involved with the visit so that they share their impressions of the campus with you.
During the week, Monday through Thursday is ideal since many campuses are very much active with classes and extracurricular activities. This means you will have an opportunity to witness first hand students transitioning from class to class. It also means you will receive a good snapshot of campus life by actually being there on campus and speaking directly with current students about their personal experiences. Current students serve as reliable sources of information in getting the most from your campus visit. Simply put, visit campuses when they are in session.
Now That You Have Been Accepted
If you are planning on visiting colleges only after you have been accepted, you may find yourself in a difficult situation. Although many colleges invite their accepted candidates to spend time on campus before the national reply date of May 1, you may have only a few weeks once you receive your acceptance letter to visit campus. You could also potentially find yourself in a dilemma if you are disappointed with the campus visit.
Please be sure to make your college visits prior to their application deadlines. This will ensure that you are completely satisfied at any of the colleges you are admitted too.