Are you making the most of your campus visits? It may seem silly to even consider a college without stepping foot on the grounds, but what good are these trips if you aren't getting the right information while you're there? While you may only be interested in learning about the school's general atmosphere, there are other things you should keep in mind before making such an important decision about your future. When you're ready to visit the campus, be sure to bring this checklist with you. You may be surprised to see just how much your mind may change when you're in the middle of it all.
If you're invited to sit in on a class in a field that interests you, take full advantage of the opportunity. This is a great way to get a feel for what sets the school apart - especially in your field. In fact, the more classes you may observe, the better. Typically, you'll be able to visit with professors afterwards as well.
Many students find that speaking with other young men and women close to their age who are already enrolled in a college or university is the best way to learn about what the school is like. Learning about things like Greek life, sports, social trends, parties, clubs, etc. from someone you can relate to rather than a brochure is a great way to learn about whether or not a campus's lifestyle may be a good fit for you.
Scanning through the pages of a student newspaper is a great way to get a feel for what's going on around campus. Look for expansion projects, student government, upcoming sporting events, concerts, guest appearances, etc.
Many schools will allow prospective students to spend a night in the dorms and eat in the student cafeteria. While on campus, take a stroll through the library, and peek in several buildings around the school. This is a great way to decide whether or not this particular college or university would be a good fit for you.
Are you worried about paying for school? Meeting an agent in this department is a way to gain a more realistic view on what type of programs are available and how to get your hands on the financial assistance you need. This is especially important if that same financial assistance may be the difference in whether or not you're able to enroll in your first choice institution.
It may seem like a small thing, but learning about how expensive the campus bookstore is usually offers a great indicator about what life on campus is like. If you feel like you're getting ripped off over a soda or a pack of pens, imagine how stressful the beginning of every semester will be. How expensive will daily expenses like groceries turn out to be? It may not seem like a major issue now, but inflated prices can keep you from doing many things you enjoy and may really have a negative impact on your overall college experience.
College campuses always have something going on. Sporting events, concerts, parties, art exhibits and even visiting thriving campus coffee shops line the minds of students from coast to coast. Checking out some of these activities is a great way to not only begin meeting people at the school of your choice, but also to learn about student culture first-hand. Just make sure to handle the time you spend responsibly.
As soon as you arrive on campus, you should already have a few questions in mind for certain people you'll meet. Be sure that you're getting diversified information for a full perspective, by speaking to an eclectic group of people - department chairs, financial aid reps, admissions advisers, faculty members and even fellow students can offer valuable insight during your visit.
It's important to remember that while you're in college, you'll want to spend some time away from the classroom. When visiting the campus, check out the town and surrounding area near your chosen institution to get a feel for whether or not living there for a few years is actually something that would interest you. Remember that living in somewhere like Seattle, Washington will be immensely different than staying a place more like Fort Myers, Florida.
Visit various areas on campus and try to understand what daily life is like for students. Will you be living on campus? Dedicate some time to visiting the cafeteria and dorm areas. If you think you'll live off campus, check into commuting. Learn about the amenities that the school offers and what types of issues students deal with. Try to figure out a reasonable idea of what to expect from your time here.
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