How To Prepare For Your First College Visit

first college visit

Flickr user Larry

College visits are highly recommended. They allow you to get a closer look at prospective colleges so you can make a more informed decision about which college is the best fit for you. However, they can be a huge investment of time and money. You want to make sure that you get your money’s worth from every college visit. You are more likely to be better prepared during the second and subsequent college visits but it’s preparing for that first college visit that can quickly become overwhelming.

How do you prepare for something when you are not sure what to expect? These few tips will help you.

Do Your Research Before You Leave For Your College Visit

You want to have at least some idea of what to expect on your college visit. The best way to get this information is by doing extensive research.

Spend some time and go through the college website in detail. Scroll through the various programs and facilities that the college offers. Don’t just focus on your academic interests. You should also check that the college meets your unique requirements with regards to major programs, living arrangements, research facilities, and any other aspects that are important to you.

Keep a special notebook to carry along with you on all your college visits. As you go through the college website, make notes in your book of special features that you would like to check out during your campus visit. Also, make notes of specific information you are looking for but cannot find on the college website. If you come across something that you would like to know more about, make a note of that too in your book.

After you’re done researching, go back through your notes and compile a list of questions to ask during your visit.

This extensive research and your written notes will help you to be better prepared for your upcoming visit. It also ensures that you do not forget anything.

Contact The School Weeks Before You Visit

All colleges organize special visit days, which are published on their website. If it isn’t, call the admissions office and find out. Register for a visit on a date that is convenient for you. Don’t panic if none of those dates suit you or if all the tours are fully booked. Most colleges will allow you to visit on non-designated days too. But, you will have to let them know in advance. Call or send an email to the admissions office in advance explaining your situation. Inform them about which dates work for you.

When communicating with the admissions office, don’t forget to also ask about attending a class in your potential major or if there are any specific sports events or music performances that you can attend. Planning on staying overnight in the dorm? Let the college know in advance so they can reserve your place. Don’t wait to do this on the day of the visit as most visiting students book their places well in advance.

With your research done and all arrangements made, you are all set to make the most of any college visit, even your first.

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