Campus tours are an important aspect of the college planning process, but some students may not have the financial resources needed to make the trip to campuses outside of their immediate area. Even if their families can afford to pay for travel expenses, lodging and meals, it still may be quite difficult to find the time to get away. Fortunately, the Internet provides a gateway for students to effectively explore potential colleges. In fact, many colleges now provide virtual tours for those who cannot make the trip in person, as well as live chat opportunities with admission counselors and campus representatives. Students can also find information on available academic programs and majors online, as well as the admission requirements for incoming students, but these facts and figures won’t give students the information they truly need to know if a college will be right for them. Instead, students should delve deeper into each college’s website and consider checking out some of the following areas and interests. Read the rest of this entry »
Have your parents recently purchased a large ticket item like furniture or a car? Chances are they spent some time shopping around, making sure they got the right color and right size, not to mention all the bells and whistles, before they plunked down their hard-earned cash. Well, shopping for your future college is very similar; it’s a long-term investment and if you buy before taking it for a test drive, you could wind up with a lemon. But unlike car dealerships, it’s not wise to just drop in on a college campus. To ensure you get the most from your campus visits, a little preparation goes a long way.
Start your planning early. You don’t have to wait until the fall of your senior year to take a tour; in fact, I suggest beginning your research no later than your junior year. Read the rest of this entry »
As you prepare for college this fall, one item on your summer agenda should definitely be attending freshman orientation. No doubt you have seen a variety of posts on what you should ask during your time on campus: you should ask for information on what’s allowed in your dorm room, how and when to register for classes and what the process is for joining campus clubs. But remember: not all questions are suitable for asking during freshman orientation! To ensure you don’t leave the admissions team at your college (and your future peers!) with the wrong impression, here’s a list of ‘what not to ask’ during your upcoming orientation.
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If you are a high school junior or senior considering your college options, you really should think about scheduling an overnight campus visit. Plan your visit before the application deadline or after you have been accepted, as this will help you as you compare colleges and undertake the task of refining your college list options and enrollment considerations. While a traditional day visit is always recommended, an overnight stay could give you a better understanding about campus characteristics that are not typically on the campus tour.
Many colleges offer overnight visits to potential students, but you usually must make your reservations well in advance. In addition to reserving a date, you may also want to try to schedule an interview during your stay. Here are some other suggestions for what you may want to check out during your overnight college visit. Read the rest of this entry »
While you are in high school, you should set aside time to visit several of the colleges on your school list. It is important to get an on-campus feel for the colleges you are considering; this is something you typically cannot get from college websites and marketing brochures. The best time to visit college campuses is when they are in session; try to avoid weekends, holidays and summers. It’s ideal to visit during your 10th or 11th grade high school spring break; you want to be sure you have the opportunity to mingle with current students and see the campus in action.
Before you head out on your trip, be sure to check the school’s website or call the Office of Admissions to schedule an appointment and tour; don’t just show unexpectedly, as you may be disappointed to find out that you have limited access to several areas of interest to you. You can also inquire about optional information sessions, overnight stay options, the availability to complete a college interview, and even the opportunity to shadow a current student or sit-in on a class or two.
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Warm sand, cool surf, beach volleyball … oh wait, that’s college spring break. High school spring break doesn’t quite have the same epic adventure associated with it. But nonetheless, spring break is coming up which means you probably have a week off of school and are in need of some decent plans. So what’s a high school student to do?
Again, maybe not a made-for-TV-movie road trip, but think about heading out with your folks and visit a few colleges within driving distance*. I can’t stress enough how important it is to check out campuses. You will be amazed at how great you might think a school is… and then you set foot on campus. You’ll see the students, feel the vibe, take a student-lead tour, maybe even sit in on a class, and your entire perspective might change. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi, my name is Natalia and I am currently a high school senior, hoping to study engineering in college. Like many of you, I am in the process of choosing and applying to colleges; I started with a list of over 20 schools, but I managed to eliminate about ten from my list. If you do the math, I saved about $600 in application fees. So how did I choose which schools I would eventually apply to? I did a college visit with every school on my list. I used to be one of those students who thought I could make a decision on the university I’d attend just by reviewing the schools’ websites and brochures, but when I tried to shorten my list, I realized that wasn’t helping me. Luckily, my high school offers juniors an opportunity to take a college visit of in-state colleges. I live in Florida and there is a state-wide scholarship here that helps students who are residents pay for collegiate education within the state. My high school encourages all students to apply to in-state colleges, and the college visits help the students get excited about state schools. Read the rest of this entry »
Just the other day I learned that colleges and universities like to see prospective students actively demonstrating interest in their school. Attending a college fair or fairs is one of the early steps in demonstrating that yes, you really are interested in a particular school and this makes the inevitable decision process of “which college do I attend” that much easier on you.
Think of it this way: let’s say that you attend a college fair at the end of your sophomore year of high school. You will already have an idea of the type(s) of school(s) you would like to apply to, thus giving you an opportunity to see whether or not a school might be the right fit for you. Read the rest of this entry »