Friday, March 19, 2010

Sue Scheff: College Visit Checklist

It is that time of the year when high school juniors will be planning their colleges of choice. For parents, they need to be involved too since this will be a big decision both financially and what is best for your teen.

Schoolwork, your job, your parents... choosing the right time to go on campus visits may seem like a complicated procedure. But when you're planning your trip, just be sure not to lose sight of the reason you're going: to see if the school is a good fit for you. This means you need to see the college when classes are meeting and day-to-day activities are taking place. In other words, go when the college is in session. - College Board

Here is great checklist to start with:

  • Take a campus tour.
  • Have an interview with an admissions officer.
  • Get business cards and names of people you meet for future contacts.
  • Pick up financial aid forms.
  • Participate in a group information session at the admissions office.
  • Sit in on a class of a subject that interests you.
  • Talk to a professor in your chosen major or in a subject that interests you.
  • Talk to coaches of sports in which you might participate.
  • Talk to a student or counselor in the career center.
  • Spend the night in a dorm.
  • Read the student newspaper.
  • Try to find other student publications—department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
  • Scan bulletin boards to see what day-to-day student life is like.
  • Eat in the cafeteria.
  • Ask students why they chose the college.
  • Wander around the campus by yourself.
  • Read for a little while in the library and see what it's like.
  • Search for your favorite book in the library.
  • Ask students what they hate about the college.
  • Ask students what they love about the college.
  • Browse in the college bookstore.
  • Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.
  • Ask students what they do on weekends.
  • Listen to the college's radio station.
  • Try to see a dorm that you didn't see on the tour.
  • Imagine yourself attending this college for four years.
Source: College Board

With today's expanding cyber-world, don't forget to check to see if your college of choice has a Facebook page. Talk with current students and follow their events! Check out to see if they have a Twitter feed too.

The more you know about the college you are choosing, the better prepared you can be.

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