Campus Visits - The Real Guide
The College Visit
The College Visit Types of Visits • • • • •
Daily tour -- interview with an admissions representative/counselor Sit in on a class Meet with a professor Overnight stay in the residence hall Open House programs
You Can’t Judge a College by Its Brochure A campus visit is your opportunity to get a first-hand view of a college. A college catalog, view book, or website, can only show you so much. To really get a feel for the school, you need to walk around campus, sit in on a class, and visit the dorms.
Get Answers to Your Questions •
A visit also gives you the chance to talk to students, faculty, financial aid, and admissions representatives. You can get answers to all of your questions.
Get Valuable Information •
Pick up any official school material you see, such as brochures and financial aid forms. Don’t forget to get business cards, so you’ll have a live contact if you have a question about admissions or financial aid. Student produced material will give you a sense of what campus life is really like. Look around for newspapers and activity calendars. Check out bulletin boards to see what bands are coming to the campus, parties are advertised, internships are posted, and generally what the day-to-day energy of the place is.
Is This College Right for You? •
Ultimately, it’s your decision. Listen to your gut. Do you feel comfortable walking around campus? Do you click with the students and faculty? Spending time on a campus allows you to determine if a school is a good match, which is extremely important.
You can’t really get a feel for a school until you visit the campus -- don’t skip this step!
The College Visit
Questions to Ask
Questions to Ask
Admissions • • • • • • • • •
Is there an Early Decision, Early Action, or Single Choice Early Action plan? On what basis are applicants accepted? Are personal interviews or letters of recommendation required? Can admission denials be appealed? What are the application filing dates? What high school courses are required for admissions? Are entrance tests required? Which ones? What range of scores is accepted? Does the college require a certain G.P.A.? How important is the essay? Is there an essay required?
General • • • • • • •
What is the surrounding community like? Is the college public, private, or church affiliated? What is the current undergraduate student enrollment? What special or unique programs are offered? Does the college have general education or course distribution requirements? Does the college have special programs for transfer students? What is the academic calendar (semester, quarter)?
Student Population • • • • • • •
From where do the majority of students come? What types of student groups are active on campus? Are there fraternities and sororities on campus? Is the surrounding community supportive of the college? Is housing available/guaranteed for freshmen? Is it available all four years? Do most of the students commute or live on campus? Are freshmen allowed to have cars on campus?
Academics • • • • • • • • • •
What is the average class size? Largest? Smallest? How many students returned for their sophomore year? What was the grade point average for the freshman class last year? What is the procedure for student orientation, class placement, and scheduling? What services does the school offer for a student undecided about a major? What percentage of students graduate in four years? In five years? What are the most popular majors on campus? Are students taught by professors, graduate assistants, teacher’s assistants? Are there free tutoring and computer labs open for most of the day? Are co-op or internships available and/or required?
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions!
Questions to Ask Social Life • • • • • • •
What is the average age of the student body? What is the male to female ratio? What percent of students reside on campus? Is this considered a “suitcase campus” where most students leave on weekends? Are the residence halls co-ed? Is there a substance-free residence option? What are the procedures for selecting a roommate? What are some of the rules that govern campus and residence hall life?
• • • • • •
What is the cost of tuition? Room and Board? Are there other fees? How much did costs increase from last year to this year? Are students required to make deposits for orientation and/or housing? Are these deposits fully refundable until May 1? Are deposits required each year for returning students? When do bills have to be paid?
Financial Aid • • • • • • • •
What percent of students receive need-based financial aid? What percent of students receive scholarships based on merit? What would a typical freshman financial aid package look like? What percent of those who apply for financial aid receive it? Will financial aid be adjusted if need increases? What application(s) need(s) to be filed to apply for financial aid? Is a tuition payment plan available? Are there campus jobs available? Are there nearby off-campus jobs?
Questions to Ask
Campus Tour Checklist
Campus Tour Checklist
See a residence hall room; check out the facilities in the residence hall. Look at the community living space, study rooms, location on campus, etc.
See a classroom and view academic buildings. See how the classroom is set up. Are there professor offices in the building?
Observe the student body around campus; the parking availability; distance to and from the academic buildings and residence halls, etc.
Check out the dining facilities to see what options are available.
Look at the library. Is there study space, copy machines, computers and extra services such as writing labs or audio listening booths available?
See what is important and interests you; the sports center, the science labs, the theatre, etc.
Take a look at the posters around the campus. See what activities are offered and the different organizations that are available to join.
When you are done with the tour you should be able to answer the following question: Would I feel comfortable on this campus, learning in this environment?
College Comparison Worksheet COLLEGE NAME LOCATION
SIZE OF CITY ENROLLMENT CAMPUS SIZE SCHOOL TYPE DIVERSITY REQUIRED COURSES
ADMISSIONS PROCESS & DEADLINES TESTS REQUIRED GPA/TEST SCORES PROGRAMS OF INTEREST ACCREDITATION STUDENT:FACULTY RATIO STUDENT HOUSING ON-CAMPUS LIVING REQUIRED? STUDENT GROUPS OF INTEREST TYPES OF ATHLETIC PROGRAMS TUITION, ROOM & BOARD, STUDENT FEES TRAVEL EXPENSES TOTAL COST % RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID AND SCHOLARSHIPS FINANCIAL AID DEADLINES GRAD JOB PLACEMENT NOTES
DISTANCE FROM HOME
Visiting College Representatives Representatives from many different colleges/universities visit high schools from their region. They go to college fairs and are accessible for you to talk to if you tour the college/university campus. This is the person that you will talk with throughout your application and admissions process so it is important to meet them and discuss any questions that you may have.
High School Visit • • • •
Listen to the daily announcements or check with your guidance counselor to see when colleges will be at your school. Make sure that you sign up 24 hours in advance so that you may be excused from class. Before meeting with the representative look over all the college information so that you can ask the questions you may have. Take notes during the session. It will help you when reviewing your top college choices.
College Fair • •
Go to any college fairs around your home town (look at local colleges to see if they are having any fairs at their campus or ask your guidance counselor). Get all the information from the different colleges that have your degree interests. (Just because you haven’t heard of the school before doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be the right fit for you.) Ask some general questions to get more familiar with the college/university (location, majors, cost, activities, etc.). EXPLORE ALL OPTIONS!!!
Campus Tour • • • •
Once you select your top colleges, visit each campus! Most representatives are available to meet with you after your tour to discuss any questions you have; take advantage of this! Ask as many questions as possible and get their business card so you can contact them in the future. Make your visit productive!
Take advantage of as many resources to learn about schools you’re interested in as you can.
Good Luck on Your Search!
Kettering University 1700 W. University Ave. Flint, MI 48638
Handbook for families to use to maximize their visits to prospective college campuses.