College visits are an essential part of the important college decision process. By visiting a college campus for an afternoon, you can attain much more information about that school than by spending endless hours researching it online on sites like College Prowler. You can never fully grasp the unique environment each college provides behind a computer screen! In addition, online student submitted reviews are often biased, unreliable, or outdated. The dynamic of a college campus is constantly changing, and these changes may not be reflected online.
Sure, a top ranked school may have all the qualities you are looking for: a strong program in the academic field you are interested in, numerous research opportunities, smart and ambitious students, and even a critically acclaimed dining hall! What’s not to like? However, without visiting this school, you miss out on many facets of student life; the qualities that determine whether or not you will enjoy your next four years at the school.
College fit is an underrated aspect of the college decision process. When visiting a college, we recommend that you take a quick drive around the nearby city or town, interact with actual students, talk to faculty, sit in on a class, and tour main buildings such as the dining hall, recreational facilities, and library. Current students, professors, and admissions officers may provide much more valuable and insightful information that you may not be able to find elsewhere.
By visiting a college, you may learn to appreciate a school that you had not even considered to be a top choice, or, you may learn that a previous top choice was just not the right fit for you.
While sites like College Prowler, Unigo, USNews, and even Reddit may provide plenty of useful information, we only recommend that you use these sights as a starting point, and not the only sources you have to base your college decision on.
- Be prepared – Look online to see if the college you are visiting provides campus tours, or even better, overnight stays with current students. Some schools require reservations.
- Also, email a professor beforehand to see if sitting in on a class is a possibility.
- Take notes – Notes will help you remember unique characteristics or points when comparing between colleges. Also, these notes may become very useful when writing supplemental essays later.
- Check out popular student hangout spots on and off campus. These are the places where you see what the student body is really like.
For more college visit consultations, contact Lee Academia.