Making the Most of your College Visit!
The first question you may be asking yourself is what time is best to visit. Students can arrange for a visit almost any time of the year. For rising seniors, the summer and early fall are the most popular seasons for visitors. Summer is a great choice because most students are on vacation which allows them to visit multiple campuses in a single trip. On the other hand, visiting in late August or September is a good opportunity for visitors to see students on campus and will give a better glimpse of student life. I also recommend visiting on a weekday versus the weekend for the same reason. Seeing students going from class to class and what they do on campus will give you more insight on what you may be looking for. Finally, make sure to reserve your spot as far in advance as possible, as there is a strong demand for in-person visits.
Next, what does a visit to campus actually entail? Although visits can vary from school to school, most will include an information session and campus tour. At Santa Clara University, a visit includes an information session from an admission counselor about the university and admission process, a student panel question and answer session, and a tour of campus with a student ambassador. On the tour, students may get to check out the classrooms, dining commons, and any recreational facilities. Keep in mind each region’s COVID-19 restrictions and that each university may have its own safety protocols. These can include size limitations of tour groups, filling out a form for COVID-19 symptoms, and mask policies.
The information session is an effective way to learn about the university’s strengths, admission policies, and financial aid. It is also a great opportunity to delve deeper into what interests you by asking questions. What are some good topics to touch upon?
- Differences in Application Deadlines (Early vs Regular)
- Qualifying for scholarships and merit-based aid
- Any tips for completing the application
- Academic opportunities like research and internships
If the information session offers a student panel, here are some great questions to ask too:
- Why did you choose this school?
- What do students do for fun on and off campus?
- What is a typical day like?
- How have you gotten involved on campus?
- Food recommendations!
Finally, if you are looking for post-visit opportunities, definitely check out local attraction sites, shopping centers, and restaurants. Just walking around the surrounding area can also give you a strong impression and feel of whether you prefer a suburban or urban environment. Feel free to ask the student representatives for their personal recommendations!