College hunting can be nerve-wracking. Whether you’re looking for your best-fit dream school or the closest school to home, the real question is if you’re looking at the RIGHT colleges for you and your student. However, one of the best ways to identify if you’re looking at the right school is to visit the college campus.
Visiting a college campus in person in the months leading up to application season can help cement your decision-making process so you can focus your time on applying to the schools that will move you forward in your career.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by what you should be looking for when you’re touring a college, here are the top four things to consider:
Look at their Programs
If you’re fortunate enough to know what you want to pursue before you even set foot on a college campus, you must ask about available programs in that field. You must ensure the school has the primary requirements, courses, and opportunities for a deeper understanding of your area of study. Plus, if there are other subjects you wish to pursue, even if it’s just for fun, you’ll want to have the option of taking those courses as well.
Talk to Students
While reading the marketing material and speaking with college staff is important, it’s equally critical to talk to the current student body. They attend classes, go to parties and social events, and interact with the people who may become your peers. During your tour, ask your student tour guide questions about anything that interests you about the school.
Go Where Students Go
When speaking with students or tour guides, ask where students spend the most time. Sure, many students will be in the library or the cafeteria, but many other spots could be popular with students as well. Perhaps there’s a tree that students like to study under or a favorite hangout spot. These insights are incredibly important because they will give you first-hand experience of what life will be like as a student. Plus, it will help you visualize yourself studying in that same spot as a student after you’re enrolled.
Explore Beyond Campus
Also, don’t forget to explore life off campus. College towns are just as crucial to student life as campus life. So, while you’re in town, explore the town's restaurants, shops, and everything else the area offers. Ask students what their favorite places are in the college town or city. Also, identify where emergency services such as police stations and hospitals are located in case of an emergency.
Choosing a college is a huge decision; it’s where you will invest thousands of dollars and years of your life, building the foundation of your future. That’s why you need to take the time to make sure you’re making the right choice for YOU.