Five Tips For Planning a College Visit
Below are some tips on how to plan the trips effectively and what you can do while you are there. We used Boston University as an example.
Review the Academic Calendar
All schools have a link to their academic calendar online. It is a good idea to review this first to make sure that classes are in session so you will be able to see students when you visit. You will usually find this on the college’s home page. If it is not immediately apparent, search academic calendar and you should find the link. Click here for BU’s academic calendar.
Identify Your Options
Most schools offer a campus tour and information session, however, many others will also allow you to sit in a class, have lunch with a student, or take a tour of a specific school. Many schools also have open houses during the spring. It is important to identify what you would like to do beforehand to determine timing of a school. It is feasible to see two schools per day if you plan accordingly as most schools offer a morning and afternoon information session and tour. If, however, a particular school is high on your list and you would like to take advantage of the other visiting options, than, it will be harder to fit everything in. Click here for BU’s Admissions page.
As you can see at Boston University there are numerous options:
- Campus Tour
- Extended Campus Tour
- Information Session
- Lunch with a Student
- Visit a particular school, e.g. Fine Arts, Business, etc.
- Visit a Class
- Special needs
Determine Your Needs
Are you an athlete? Actor? Artist? Musician? Do you need extra support because of a learning difference? If so, then you will want to schedule appointments with the appropriate faculty and staff to determine if the school is a good fit in those realms as well. For athletes at DIII schools, you can contact the coach and let him or her know that you are planning a visit and would like to stop by. For DI schools, recruited athletes are invited to visit as part of an “official visit” by the coach. For performing and visual artists, it is a good idea to schedule a meeting with a particular professor or school in advance. If you have a learning difference, it is helpful to stop by the office of academic support and see if you feel comfortable with the environment.
Make a Reservation
Some schools allow you to just show up, but others require a reservation and party count. Go to the school’s website and click on Admissions. Under admissions, there is usually a link to “Visit the school.” Click Here for BU’s Schedule Your Visit Page.
Plan the Trip
One of our favorite college visit planning tools is the AAA Triptik.
You can enter a destination by the name of the college or university and it will provide a driving route. You can easily change the order of schools if your plans change.
Click here for an example of visiting University of Connecticut, Boston University and then Tufts. Sample triptik[lightbox link=”http://survivingthecollegeapplicationprocess.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/triptik-image.png” thumb=”http://survivingthecollegeapplicationprocess.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/triptik-image-300×194.png” width=”300″ align=”left” title=”triptik image” frame=”true” icon=”image”]