What to do and what to look for when visiting a college campus:
Date of visit__________________
Admissions contact person__________________________
Financial aid contact person_________________________
- Make an appointment on campus, during the week if possible, not during college vacations. You will get a more realistic picture of the college if you have the chance to observe everyday activities on campus
- Attend a class, if possible, preferably in the academic field of study in which you plan to major.
- Take a campus tour. Ask for a complete tour of all major buildings and facilities (if you have the time and the campus is a reasonable size). If the college offers only group tours of preselected buildings and equipment, you might want to take your own tour for comparison. Look especially at:
- Dormitories (their proximity to library, etc.)
- Dining hall (try it out!)
- Student center
- Recreational and athletic facilities
- Any special features
- Ask about forms of transportation in the locality (esp. if you won’t have a car on campus.)
- Research the college beforehand, so that you can ask informed questions. Take this list with you for possible questions to ask:
- The comparison between the average class size and student-faculty ratio
- Opportunities for outside interests, extracurricular activities, and leadership roles
- Your chances for acceptance
- The college financial stability (most colleges have information on endowments, alumni gifts, grants awarded to academic departments, percentage of operating costs supplied by student tuition, and other details.)
- Make sure you have a current catalog and current information from the college on academic requirements, curriculum and tuition.
- Check out the surrounding community or communities for shopping, entertainment, etc.
- Be prepared for the admissions interviewer to ask you questions such as the following:
- Why do you want to attend college?
- Why are you interested in this college?
- Why did you choose your major (if already chosen)? Do you have a career direction in mind?
- What are your academic strengths and weaknesses, and what are your academic interests?
- What do you like to do in your spare time? Do you know any alumni of the college?
- Talk with students and faculty. Ask:
- What is it like here?
- How is the social life?
- Do you find the college academically challenging?
- How easy is it to talk with instructors and administrators? Is extra help available when you need it?
- What is the atmosphere? (preppy, intellectual, very liberal, conservative, religious, sports-oriented?)
- Stay overnight on campus if possible. When calling the admissions office for your appointment, you can ask the personnel if they can arrange for an overnight visit.
- Write a thank-you note to the admissions interviewer after your campus visit. (This act of courtesy shows your genuine interest in the college.)
Remember – Like it or not – You are making an impression. Be yourself. Be relaxed. Be prepared. Dress neatly. Ask questions!
- What religious organizations are active and what provisions are there for chapel services, religion classes and other spiritual emphases?
- How are roommates selected?
- Are cultural activities available to suit your interests?
- Is part-time work available and how is it arranged?
- Will you be more comfortable at a junior college or a four-year college?
- Is the school fully accredited?
- Are there advanced placements? What type are they? Credit by exam? Summer school credits? Do they require, or will they accept, achievement tests for placements?
- Are there special academic programs available?
- How is the academic year divided? What is the normal course load and what provisions are required to take more or less?
- Are credits transferable to other schools you might consider for transfer?
- What percentage of the incoming freshman class actually graduate?
- Find out what percent of graduates go on to graduate school. What percent receive admittance of those who apply?
- What are the foreign language requirements for admission and/or graduation?
- Is there a job placement service for graduates?
NOTE: You may want to duplicate these pages to record information from each school being considered.
HELFPUL HINTS Practical Living Skills
- Learn how to learn. Consider signing up for a study skills class and/or speed reading.
- Learn how to type! (if you don’t already)
- Take a library tour the first week!
- Decide in advance where you will spend holidays.
- Ask Mom for a lesson in washing clothes before you leave.
- Ask Dad for lessons and a trial run in budgeting before you leave.
- Ask Dad for a roll of quarters. Save these in a safe place (and out of temptations’ way) for the washateria. You’ll be glad you did.
- If living in an apartment, copy some of your favorite recipes from Mom’s kitchen.
- Attend Welcome Week!!!!!!!!!
- Listen well during orientation. WRITE DOWN how to drop/add a class—steps involved. Deadline for doing so. (Changes in schedules may be necessary and are not a sign of failure.)
- Note the regulations for using the Health Center.
- Begin signing your name on all documents with first name, middle initial and last name. (Avoid nicknames in your official signature.)
- Memorize your social security number.
- Start saving now for a slush fund of approximately $200 for use in emergencies. Tell no one of its whereabouts (in which shoebox to look). Examples of need: Deposit for lost room key, extra text needed mid semester, etc.)
- Open a checking account. Pay all bills by check, signing your official signature. This will give you proof of payment and a record of expenses.
- Put your social security number or student I.D. on all checks.