What You Need To Know About College Visits

To find your perfect fit, college visits and fairs will help you compare and learn more about different colleges. This step in your application process will show colleges that you are interested and dedicated!

When, Where, and How

Physical campus tours usually take place before the admissions period, ranging from the summer before senior year until their specific deadline. However, sometimes your colleges might be too far away to visit on your tight schedule. In this case,  a lot of colleges host local tours and send out admissions officers closer to you! To find these tours, students can usually ask their school college counselor or find possible matches on naviance

Due to recent circumstances, more colleges are allowing virtual tours instead of physical visits. Both options are available to every student via the college’s main website as well. This newer virtual option allows you a more affordable and adaptable way to look further into your college choices. Colleges do host separate parent tours to answer more personalized concerns and questions.

Factors to Consider

Here are some factors that you should consider and compare between colleges. It can be beneficial to ask about these during college visits and seminars! Thinking further can show colleges that you are interested and have done research on their school.

  • Overall Prestige
    • What is the college’s acceptance rate? (Here are two sources you can use: College Census and Wall Street Journal Rankings)
    • What fields and majors is the college known for? Do these achievements and merits coincide with your interests?
  • Cost and Affordability
    • Due to global circumstances and new virtual options, will term bills be lowered for the time being?
    • What is the average tuition for an in-state vs out-of-state student?
    • Where can you find scholarship opportunities to make this college more affordable for you?
  • Programs and Networking 
    • How active is this college’s study abroad program? How many locations can they provide you contact with?
    • What associations, clubs, sports, and activities do they provide? 
    • Do they have intramural or recreational sports options?
    • Is there a mentor program that can help you?
    • Consider available TA/RA Opportunities
  • Academic Rigor
    • Will you get an Academic Advisor who can guide you in your course decisions? A specific one for a program/track?
    • Is there an available Honors Program or College?
    • Is there a CORE Curriculum for a specific college?
  • Personal Comfort
    • How active is the school spirit?
    • Is this college a small or big school? Suburban vs City campus? 
    • What is the school size? Average class size?
    • Consider the food and health quality 

Remember that visits and tours are an optional tool for you to dig deeper into colleges that interest you. Asking for clarification and bringing up personalized questions will show greater investment and interest during a college fair or visit.

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