When choosing which college you want to attend, whether it be straight out of high school, after a gap year, or later in life, there are so many factors to consider. The quality of the education you will receive is only one factor in picking a college. You won’t be as successful in your higher education if you don’t like the location, the social environment, or the available extracurricular activities on your college campus. Unfortunately, there is really no way to dictate a lot of these factors without actually attending the college. There are certain things you can only find out by actually living somewhere and experiencing it twenty-four hours a day.
The closest you will get to this opportunity is your college visit. Visiting the campus of every college you are considering, whether it be Marylhurst University or Maryland University, is crucial to determining how you feel about the school. You may not know how you truly feel until you have spent a few months on a college campus, but until you get that opportunity, spending a few days there will be the closest you can get.
But it is easy to make waste of these crucial college visits by being too shy, or by having too much fun and not getting any information. It is an important balance to manage. Figure out how by following this guide to making the most of your college visits.
Go on a Guided Tour of Campus
For every college campus you visit, you should of course go on a guided tour of the campus. Take these tours with a grain of salt since the person leading the tour is paid to make the school seem good, obviously. There aren’t going to show you the shady or underdeveloped parts of campus, or the parts they know will turn people off. But you will get a vibe of the campus. If you end up seeing things you don’t like, that is a particularly bad sign since they are supposed to be showing you the attractive parts of the campus.
Every time you visit a campus you should prepare a set of questions you need answers to. Not just for the guided tour, but for the entire time you are there. Prepare questions for different departments on campus, and questions for any students you will meet. Students will be an especially key resource because they will actually be honest with you.
Ask More Questions than the Ones You Prepared
Be ready to ask follow-up questions to every question you ask. The way to get the most information is to ask questions that you adapt based on the information you are being given instead of just sticking with the set questions you already wrote.
Go to a Sports Game
The best way to get a feel for the student base is to get right into the action. Students gather and show their true colors at school sporting events, so you should join them and get to know them.