Applying for colleges is a stressful and busy time; you may not have been able to visit them all before you sent in those applications. However, your acceptance letters have come in, and you’ve been accepted into a college you didn’t have time to visit. What now? If it’s a school you’re seriously considering, here are some options.
Plan A Visit
One of the most obvious choices you have now is to plan a visit. It’s better late than never! Visiting will really give you the best idea of the college’s student body, atmosphere, layout, and classes, in addition to the town and the various things to do when you’re not studying. The school may even still be giving tours to prospective students.
Take a Virtual Tour
If you simply can’t visit the college before you have to make your decision, one of the best next things you can do is take a virtual tour on their website. Some will have “tour guides” explaining the different aspects of the college and campus life. If there isn’t a virtual tour available on the school’s site, make sure to see if they have any available on YouTube or Facebook.
Although a virtual tour can definitely highlight some of the school’s better aspects around campus, it can’t truly give you a feel for how it feels living there. You may want to use the virtual tour in conjunction with one or both of the next two suggestions.
Speak with a School Representative
If you’re not physically visiting the school, it’s important to speak with a representative. When you call, make sure you explain that you have not visited but were accepted into the college and consider attending in the fall. They can give you insight into the school that the virtual tour may not have achieved. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask specific questions involving freshman year, campus life, your major, the town, and more.
Speak with Current Students or Alumni
A representative can definitely give you a helpful view of the college from their perspective, but it will be largely skewed for the plus column. You’ll want to talk to some current students as well as alumni of the school to get an idea of what their lives are like during the four years. Ask them questions about how they feel about the college, the classes, their professors, and campus life. You can also ask them about the town: what are some things to do? Places to work?
If you’re talking to alumni, make sure to talk about their major as well as their current position and how their job search went. How long after graduating did it take? This may give you a good idea of your job prospects after college.
If you’ve been accepted into a college that is on your shortlist, but you haven’t visited it yet, the best thing you can do is plan a visit as soon as possible. If that isn’t in the cards, speak to as many people as you can, including students, alumni, and representatives. You’ll want to make sure this is the right choice for you.
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