Stepping on campus for your college visit can be overwhelming. There is a lot to take into consideration. Such as “when should I start visiting colleges?” and “what should I expect during these visits?”
To make the most of your college visit, first thing you should do is research the colleges that you are interested in. Make a list of questions that you have and make sure that you ask them on your visit!
When is the best time to schedule a college visit?
The ideal time to schedule a campus visit depends on you and how many schools you are interested in. If you are interested in several different schools, visiting during your junior year is a good option. This will give you plenty of time to visit each school, and then revisit your top few options during your senior year.
If you wait until your senior year to schedule a campus visit, it is best to visit in the fall. Visiting earlier in the year will give you more time to figure out all the details so you can make an informed decision on where you would like to attend.
Visiting during the academic year gives you a sense of what normal campus life is like compared to a summer visit. This allows you to have a better picture of yourself in that setting.
How do I schedule a college visit?
The most common way to schedule a campus visit is to use online forms and/or visit pages found on the college’s website. Another way to schedule a visit is to call the admissions office and set it up over the phone. This option is especially helpful if you have specific questions or needs such as food allergies, mobility limitations, special needs parking requests, etc.
Who should I plan to meet with during my college visit?
You should plan to meet your admissions counselor and a faculty member from the area of study that you are interested in. Some colleges will even allow you to sit in on a class to get a feel for collegiate academics.
If you have interest in a club/sport it may also be beneficial to meet with an adviser or coach. Be aware that the NCAA places limitations on when college coaches can begin the recruiting process. This includes when they can talk with you on a college visit, especially if you are visiting before or during your junior year.
You could also meet with a financial aid officer for information ranging from filing the FAFSA, to how to find scholarships.
What is the most important part of a college visit?
The most important part of a college visit is the campus tour. Often campus tours are given by current students, which means that you will be able to learn about their experiences and what campus is like from a student perspective.
Also, make sure you eat on campus so you can try the food!
Should I visit campus more than one time?
Yes! It is especially beneficial if you need to narrow down which college to attend. You will most likely have different, more specific questions, on the second visit. If your first campus visit was a group tour, the second visit should be a personal visit.
While every school may schedule their group visit days differently, explore what Bluffton University does for the Discover Bluffton events. Many schools will include most, if not all, of these activities.
Written by Bluffton University senior Beth Weigandt,
with information from the Bluffton University admissions counselors.