How to Make the Most of a College Visit

As spring break approaches, many juniors and their families plan to visit college campuses. This is a very good idea if it is possible. I strongly recommend that students visit campuses while school is in session so they can see the life of the campus along with the facilities.

I also advise sophomores with particular needs (learning differences, strong preferences for a particular major, international students, anticipated adjustment challenges) to visit college campuses during their sophomore spring break.

What to do on this tour? As much as possible! One absolute must-do is eat in a student cafeteria or in a restaurant students patronize close to campus.

Studying the school before the visit is very helpful. Read the mission statement, news about new initiatives, popular majors, housing, the webpages offered by the department in which you are currently most interested. By taking a first look on-line, your second look on campus will make much more sense. 

I always advise students to visit a college within a short drive from home first. You do not need to be interested in this college for yourself. You should attend the admission officer’s talk and take the tour so you understand how the college’s visiting protocols. 

Brennan Barnard, a college counselor in New Hampshire, wrote a wonderful post for The Choice, The New York Times’ blog about college admissions. His comments in “How to Make the Most of a College Visit” are very helpful.