Tagged: Campus visits

College Visits? What To Do Now

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Oh, no!  Colleges are closing! 

Under other circumstances you would be executing planned college visits over the next few weeks and are finding that admissions offices are canceling tours and info sessions as their campus closes down.

There are some things that you can do now to learn about the colleges on your list.

Take a deep look at the college website: It tells the story of the college.  When and why was this institution founded?  What do they value?  Look up your potential major to see what is required to graduate.  Look at the required courses to see how interesting they seem.  Will you be able to take advantage of study abroad and internships?  Check out a few other subjects you might be curious about.

Take a virtual tour of the campus that you find on the college website.  It’s not the same thing as being there but you can see the layout and buildings.  Usually, the tour is led by admissions office ambassadors (tour guides) and is similar to the tour you would take in person.  If you like what you see, ask the admissions office to put you in touch with an ambassador or student similar to you, maybe from your high school or studying your major.

Campus Spotlight, https://www.collegematchpoint.com/college-matchpoint-blog/tag/Campus+Spotlight reviews some school.  Check out niche.com, too

Access campus tours through Campus Reel.    Campusreel.org offers tours of many campuses in 15,000 videos.  The quality varies as does the information.  An annoyance is that you must click the speaker icon at the bottom of each video as it loads so that you can hear the audio.

While campus is closed down, most admissions offices are up and running.  Make a list of questions you can’t find answers for on the website and call your admissions rep.  You will likely be able to have a conversation with him or her.  Not only do you get answers but you are showing interest in that college.  Some schools track Demonstrated Interest for consideration when processing your application.

Connect with college social media.  Instagram, Twitter, YouTube are good access points.  If there is an online campus newspaper you will be able to see a back issue or more; the campus radio station might still be operating.  From either, you can learn what is popular, what students care about.

Even though you can’t meet with anyone or take guided tour, it’s still possible to drive through  or walk around a school that you’d like to know more about.  Take time to visit the area surrounding the campus to find the local Thai restaurant, hair salon, movie theater or Target.  If you move here you’ll spend time eating, shopping and socializing in the neighborhood.

Let me know what you find out! 

Making New Friends on a Campus Visit

There is more to a successful college visit than a tour and information session.  When you leave you should have an idea of whether or not this is a place where you will be comfortable living and learning for four years.

Your tour guide will provide basic information on the college but you need more insight.  Ask the guide about specific courses he has taken and which professors he likes.  Where does he like to study other than in the residence hall?  What are the most popular activities on campus?  What are the school traditions?

The guide’s answers are just one opinion.  Where else can you get good feedback?   A few admissions offices have a list of students (usually tour guides or interns) with whom you can exchange email questions and answers.

The dining hall will always have people hanging around, even professors.  Introduce yourself as  someone considering enrolling and ask if you can sit down and talk for a few minutes.

You might want to know if the students have jobs on campus or where to find the best pizza.  These are good openers.  Have they continued to room with their freshman roommate (to evaluate the success of roommate matching)?   What are their majors, favorite professors or courses.

A great question is how many hours a week do they study on average?  This will help you decide if you fit academically.

How many nights a week do they go out (or drink); this will help you evaluate the social fit.

Text books and course materials are very expensive.  Books can cost over $100 each and many professors assign more than one book.  Some will put course materials online for downloading, saving students a bundle.  Find out how it works here and if renting books rather than buying is a possibility.

If you’re fortunate enough to run into a professor, find out about her courses, her research,  her interests.  Make a point of looking at the bulletin boards in the halls where the professors have their offices for a good sampling of ways they connect with students and potential assistantships.

These suggestions won’t provide all the answers but if you spend some time looking at who is spending time in the library or studying on the quad you’ll get a feel for what it is like to live here.