While exploring college websites and following their social media accounts are great ways to start your college search, a campus visit is considered an essential part of deciding which college is right for you. For this week’s admissions blog, Meredith College Admissions team members share why a college visit is so important.
Here are four reasons why the campus visit matters:
- It is the best way to assess the college’s “fit.” Nothing you are able to see online will help you determine if a college is the right fit for you as well as a campus visit. As you walk around the spaces where you’d be living and learning for four years, you will be able to get a sense of how you feel there. You will see firsthand what your college experience could be like, including the unique aspects of the college’s community. Some things to take notice of include how students interact with each other, what posters you see on bulletin boards promoting events and academic opportunities, and how campus spaces are decorated. All of these help you gauge the personality of a college.
- You can meet with a faculty member or sit in on a class in the major you’re considering (Sometimes both!). During an individual campus visit to Meredith, our admissions counselors will schedule these opportunities for you and help you explore your interests. These experiences will help you assess class size, the level of academic rigor at the school, and how the professors interact with students.
- You will get to talk with current students. Speaking of students – be sure you talk to current students during the visit. Student tour guides, student workers, and students in the classes you visit are all wonderful resources who will help you find out about student life on campus. What do they love about their college? What kinds of opportunities, such as internships and study abroad, have they taken part in?
- It is a chance to ask the questions that matter most to you. To maximize the benefits of a campus visit, it is important to take some time before you arrive to consider what you’re looking for in a college. Some questions you might want to ask your admissions counselor and others you meet are
Academic Opportunities: Do I have to declare a major when I apply? What if I don’t know what I want to study?
Diversity: How diverse is the campus? Do all student groups feel welcome?
What is unique about this college?
Paying for college: What scholarship opportunities are available?
Outcomes: Can you tell me about career and graduate school placement?
While asking your questions, also pay attention to how people react to your questions. Do you feel heard and supported? Did you get valuable feedback? And did you feel comfortable enough to ask your questions? This is a good way to gauge how supported you’d feel as a student.
What if you just can’t visit? Here are some other options:
- Connect with an admissions counselor! They will be able to answer questions about your individual circumstance and help you find out more about the college that interests you. And, a responsive admissions counselor is a good indicator of a supportive college environment.
- Visit the college’s table at a college fair. This is another way to talk to an admissions counselor about what makes the college unique.
- Use online resources. While visiting in person is best, the college’s website is a good second choice. Most colleges have virtual tours on their site so you can “visit” different areas on campus.