Summertime is a great time to visit college campuses, sit in on summer classes, speak to students, check out dorms and dining halls, and meet with an admissions officer. However, like everything else in life, the careful planning of the college visits is imperative and crucial. Think of the college visit as an extension of the application process and while most colleges do not require a visit or an interview with an admissions officer, it does help to show your sincere interest in attending (called demonstrated interest) and help to determine if the school is a good fit for you and for the school. Here are eleven tips that will make your college visits meaningful and memorable.
- Do your homework. Learn everything that you can about the college before you visit. Read college brochures and check out their websites. Make a few notes of things that interest you or questions you have, so that you can refer to them during your visit.
- Let the admissions office know that you are planning a visit and give them the date and time. A representative from the admission office will probably contact you to ask if you would like a tour, participate in an information session, or have an interview.
- Dress appropriately.You are not expected to be a young professional, but you are expected to be neat and respectful. Ripped jeans and tee shirts from your favorite band or with pictures of marijuana leaves will not serve very well to establish you are a serious candidate. Shorts are fine on a hot day, but make sure you look neat and presentable.
- Participate in everything that is offered. This includes scheduling a tour, taking part in an information session, sitting in on a class, visiting different facilities, meeting with a department head in a subject that interests you, and setting up an interview.
- Give yourself extra time for the college visit. Try to do one visit to one campus a day. Do not overbook visits even if colleges are located close to each other. Remember, that visits take time and often run longer and later than anticipated. Plus there are other considerations like traffic, parking, locating places, and negotiating around unfamiliar surroundings.
- When you arrive on campus, walk around and spend some time checking out the environment. Visit classrooms, dorm, dining halls, library, theater, students’ center, athletic facilities, and the college bookstore. Get a feel for the environment. Talk with students. Check out the technology.
- “Never leave them empty handed” is a saying in business that refers to the fact that people remember someone better when they have a tangible reminder of the encounter. Therefore, compose a neat, up-to-date resume and bring copies to all interviews. The resume should highlight your experiences and be reflective of your abilities and talents.
- When you attend the interview, establish eye contact, be open and friendly, and ask questions that demonstrate your research and genuine interest in the college. Inquire about opportunities based upon your skills and interests. The answers to your questions will help you decide if the academic program that the college offers meets your needs and expectations. They also facilitate dialogue and make a positive, lasting impression. Remember that it is OK to be nervous and that college admission officers are trained to help you feel more comfortable and confident. Be yourself!
- Write down the names and addresses of everyone that you encounter and made your visiting experience productive. Send personal thank you notes to all of the officials and college representatives who assisted you during your time on campus.
- Take photos during your visit and notes after your visit. Record your impressions. List the pros and cons of the college. Taking notes will help you remember your thoughts and impressions of the school and are invaluable when you decide where you would like to apply and attend.
- Consider your comfort level. After the visit think about what you experienced and ask yourself if each school is a place where you could fit in and be comfortable and successful for the next four years of your life.
If you still feel confused, apprehensive or in need of assistance about impending college visits and all of the other facets of attending college, consult with experts. NC Global Education has helped thousands of students through the entire application process from advising to admission. The college admission experts can help you negotiate through the application proceduresso call NC Global Admissions 833-888-6232 and let them help you make all the right moves in order to earn admission to the college of your dreams.