I: Janice, can you take us quickly through a summary of kind of the top 10 tips for effective college visits?
Jaince: Sure. I would say:
Do your homework before you go. That’s probably the number one, is be prepared.
I would say that taking the campus tour and making sure that the university has your contact information is extremely important.
I think more than anything, it is extremely important when you’re on these campuses to ask the questions and interact with as many people as you can. Whether it’s the tour guide, the admissions officers, faculty, current students. Students are like the best ambassadors for the schools and most of them are more than willing to talk to you, you know, when you approach them.
I’d say look at areas around the campus, the surrounding neighborhoods, on the different facilities on campus and do ask yourself: can I see myself here? Do I feel safe here? Do I think that I could be friends with the people that go here?
At the end of each visit, I do think it’s important to sit down and do spend some quiet time, make some notes about everything that you’ve experienced that day. Keep a record of it because, as I mentioned, you won’t remember everything. I think also, when you’re on campus, I think it’s very important for looking around – not just talking with students, but also looking around at the bulletin boards.
Go to the campus center, see what’s happening on campus. Are these things that are going to be of interest to you, should you go there? There are examples of student research, on the academic department bulletin boards.
There are student newspapers and publications – take them home, pick them up, take them home, read them, see what you think.
Remember to get the business cards of anybody that you’ve met with; make sure to write a thank you note when you get home. Again, it goes back to just really evaluating how you see yourself and can you see yourself at these schools?
And more than anything, I think it’s really important to think about it and try to have fun. I think that that’s part of this whole process, is have fun. It’s a unique time, and for a student it’s really a time that’s about them.
It’s a time when everything, pretty much is focused on them and it’s also a great bonding time when you’re on campus. For parents and students, this is what your time is dedicated to, so have fun and enjoy it!
We hope you have enjoyed listening to Janice’s tips for planning and visiting college campuses. For help with your teens college road trip or for more information please contact us at 650-931-4515.