Narrowing down your college choices is one of the hardest parts of the college decision process, especially when there are just so many unique options!
Fun Fact: In 2011, there were 2,870 4-year colleges in the United States!!
That is both exciting and overwhelming, right? With all kinds of options, it is a little bit difficult to tell if I like a college just by the letters they send me in the mail.
I have found that campus tours are a great way to figure out if a college is right for you. They allow you to gain a feeling of the atmosphere of the campus, what the people are like, what the city is like, and if you could really picture yourself living there. I have been on six campus tours so far and it has really helped me determine what kind of college I am looking for.
So, now that I have completely convinced you that you need to take a few campus tours ASAP, let’s talk about how to do that.
Step 1: Sign up!
For most colleges, you can sign up online or over the phone. Just go to their website, and click on admissions. Usually you can find something under admissions that says “Visit Us!” or you can look for their phone number and just call! Remember to figure out what day you would like to visit before calling. Something else to consider is if you would rather do a group visit with other high school students, or an individual visit. In my experience, I like doing individual visits because you have more opportunities to ask personalized questions, but to each his own! Lastly, decide what opportunities you would like to take advantage of. Sometimes you can meet with a professor or go to a class with a current student!
Photo Credit Flickr user: Ed Yourdon
Step 2: Plan!
It is important to do a little preparation before doing a visit to get the most out of it. (Don’t worry, it’s not too time consuming!) First, write down a few questions that you definitely want answered. For example, I am interested in psychology so I usually ask how big their psychology department is and what opportunities I would have within that major. Secondly, if you’re going to a city you are not completely familiar with, be a tourist! Plan activities in the city after doing your visit to find out if you could picture yourself living there. In addition to this, do some research on the city. I loved a few colleges I visited, only to find out later that they are located in one of the most dangerous cities in the US. Eeek!
Visit this website to find out more about a city!: http://www.usacitylink.com/
Step 3: Visit!
Take a pen and paper to write down any important information. Don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions while you are there! Take pictures… because, why not? Grab all the free stuff they give you! And lastly, have fun!
You’re typing in the college you want to visit right now, aren’t you? Good, I’ve done my job right! Happy college hunting!