College Visits Are a Big Part of Your College List Research
Junior year is a big college prep year, and one of the most important things that juniors will do this fall is visit colleges and universities as part of their college list research.
On the surface a college visit is a pretty simple event. However, it’s important to plan early in order to make the most of your time while you’re there. After all, you’re deciding whether or not to spend the next four years there – a couple of hours on campus can’t always give you a full picture of a college or university. But if you plan college visits ahead of time and do your homework, you can have a successful experience that can better inform your decisions when creating your balanced college list.
Do Your Research Beforehand
College visits are a great part of your college list research, but that doesn’t mean it should be your only research. Before visiting a college, make sure you already know that it’s a good fit. Learn everything you can about courses, your intended major, professors, campus life, and more but visiting the university’s website, social media, and other online resources. Use the college visit as an opportunity to get information that you can’t find on the school’s website.
Take Advantage of School Breaks
You don’t want to miss too much school in order to visit colleges, so try to plan some of your college visits during school breaks and holidays. If you’re still doing preliminary research, and already have a family trip planned during a school break, see if there are any colleges near your vacation spot that you might want to visit. Take advantage of being in a new place to explore some of the schools that are around there.
Sign Up For the Information Session
Don’t skip the information session! Not only does the information session give you the opportunity to meet an admissions officer and learn more about the school and what they’re looking for in applicants, but some colleges will look to see if you’ve visited when evaluating applications and registering for and attending the information session gives them a record of your visit. You also have the chance to ask some questions and gain a better understanding of whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
Don’t Visit More Than Two Colleges In One Day
Many families will plan college visit trips with the intention of visiting multiple colleges in a short time frame. While this can be an efficient use of time, you don’t want to overload yourself with too much information at once. At IvyWise, we advise students to visit no more than two colleges in one day. Any more than that and they can start to blend together, making it hard to recall which school had what when going back over your notes and experiences.
College visits are fun and exciting, as they help students visualize themselves at certain institutions and help them get one step closer to building a great college list. Plan ahead, do your research, and, most importantly, have fun!