College visit tips and tricks

College visits can be daunting and hard to prepare for. After a few visits, you start to figure out how to prepare for future visits. Here are a few tips and tricks that I have come up with after going on multiple visits.

  • Wear comfortable clothing – Since most tours include a campus tour, you will be moving around a lot. Wearing comfortable clothing will help you focus more on the actual tour and not worry about your aching feet or your warm sweater.
  • Stay hydrated – Most college visits can last a few hours. When you take the campus tour you will be taking lots of stairs and you will be walking around quite a lot. Staying hydrated is key to making sure you won’t be distracted by how thirsty you are.
  • Take notes – College visits almost always include an admissions presentation. There is always important information that you’ll need to know so it is a good idea to bring a small notepad with a pen or pencil. When you go back to compare the admission requirements, it will be easier with the notes you took during the presentation.
  • Talk to a current student – It is always important to talk to someone who is currently attending the college because they have first hand experiences. During some admission presentations, colleges will have a student panel and you can ask your burning questions.
  • Visit centers of student life – If you visit while school is in session, make sure to visit a dining hall or student union. This will give you an idea to what the student atmosphere is like and you might even be able to try some of the food because of course that’s very important.
  • Ask about campus safety – While on a campus tour, make sure to ask your guide about campus safety. Most colleges have on campus security and emergency call stations located around campus. It is very important that you feel safe while on campus.
  • Ask about financial aid – Some colleges have a large number as their sticker price but this should not be a deal breaker when you decide where you want to go. Many colleges have scholarships that you are automatically entered into when you apply. For example, colleges will give you a certain amount of money if you meet certain criteria like your GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Also, filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will help you understand how much the government is willing to give you in terms of student aid.
  • Visit residence halls – When on a campus tour, make sure you check out the residence halls. Colleges usually have many different types of rooms like a single, a double or suite style. Visiting halls will make it easier to choose the type of room you want when you apply for housing/residence.

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