Get the Most Out of Your College Visits
HS2 Academy Head Counselor Mihir Shah
At the start of high school, college names are bounced around until they take a life of their own. Stanford and Harvard become legendary names that everyone has heard of, but very few truly know. Visiting colleges is vital to fully understand where you, the student, fit in, and to identify subtle differences between similarly ranked and regarded colleges.
Once you have determined which college you would like to visit, it is imperative that you create an itinerary for checkpoints to visit. To get the most out of your college visits, first conduct research on the college website. Going in ‘blind” to a college visit can prevent you from taking full advantage of the information and access offered by admissions representatives. First and foremost, have a notebook on hand to jot down everything on your guided tour, from questions to insights as the tour progresses. Bring a camera to store the most impactful memories of the college so you can go back and research them at your leisure.
While each college’s policy for tours varies, there are numerous commonalities: a walk through of the most active parts each college has to offer (e.g., libraries, food courts, dormitories, etc.). For some colleges, a seminar in the lecture hall will be provided to better understand college admissions, while others will allow students to speak to current undergraduates.
Without question, maximizing college visits requires being engaged. Be prepared with questions as you embark on your tour, and continue to jot down more thoughts. After the tour is completed, take a stroll through the campus and experience their opportunities, from college libraries to gymnasium facilities. In many cases, even casually asking college students about their experience as they walk by results in unique college information that would otherwise be unavailable. Ultimately, the key is to learn about the college from the different perspectives possible.