If you visited the campuses of the colleges you applied to, you might think that visiting the campuses again is not really necessary. You’ve seen the colleges and their facilities up close, you liked what you saw, and that’s why you went ahead with your applications to those institutions. So why visit colleges again? Will a second visit really help?
If you’ve received multiple acceptance letters, visiting those colleges again can be extremely valuable in helping you choose between them.
How Re-Visiting Colleges Can Help You
It’s interesting, but how you see a college during your second visit will be quite different from how you saw the same campus during your first.
During your first visit, you are more likely to inspect the school through rose-colored glasses. Also, you are hoping to get into a college, ANY college, at this stage so you will tend to focus on the positives in an attempt to make it work for you and see how you could fit in. Also, colleges lay out the red carpet during peak visit season so you see only the best parts of the campus.
During your second visit your mission is different. This is the real thing. The campus you choose is where you will be spending your next four years. The only way to make avoid making a mistake when comparing colleges is to be absolutely objective in your assessment of each campus.
Things to Do on Your Second Visit
These are a few activities you should focus on during your second visit.
Attend a class
Attending a class is a great way to experience that particular college. Preferably in the program you are enrolled in. This will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of class size, quality of the lectures, student-professor engagement and other aspects. Can you see yourself enjoying the classroom and the lectures over the next four years?
Talk to a professor.
Your relationship with your professor is key to getting the most out of your college experience. When you spend time talking to a professor, preferably someone who will be teaching one of your classes, you will get a good feeling of whether or not this is a program you will enjoy attending. Does the professor seem approachable and eager to support your enthusiasm for learning? Would you hesitate to ask the professor if you needed any extra help? Ask yourself these questions after your meeting.
Visit the Financial Aid Office.
This is especially important if you have any questions about your financial aid package. You need to understand every single component of your financial aid package to avoid having a disaster on your hand. Get your doubts clarified so you have a clear picture about your financial commitments should you choose to attend that college.
Spend some time in the cafeteria.
Besides checking out the food selection, make sure to also look around you and observe how the students interact with one another. Does it have a happy vibe? Can you see yourself sitting at one of those tables during your college years? How does that make you feel?
Make LOTS of notes during your second visit so you have a solid base for comparing the different colleges.
You may not be able to organize a second visit to all of the colleges that have accepted you. If the college is in another state, a revisit may just not be practical but at the very least, you should try and visit the colleges that you can.
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