Spring break is right around the corner and many students and their parents are starting to plan their college visits.
Visiting a school is really a 2-way street. It does send a message to a college that you are interested. It also gives you a chance to visualize being a student on that campus. Time and again I am surprised by the visceral responses students have to different school environments. Too big? Too remote? Not urban enough? Not enough places to eat late at night? I have had students make their final decision about a school based on what they ate during their visit!
Here is a brief checklist of things to consider:
1. Do you like the physical environment? How big is the campus? How many students?
2. Do you like the academic environment?
3. Do you like the social environment?
4. Are there financial aid considerations that you should keep in mind when looking out-of-state or at private school options?
5. What type of access will I have to studio, performance or production space?
6. How many students drop out or transfer after their freshman year?
7. When I visit can I meet someone in a particular department? Is there a current student I can talk to?
Be creative in how you schedule tours to make the most of your time and cut down on travel expenses. Make the most of your visit by scheduling interviews with faculty or arranging to sit in on a class. You can find a great list of questions by downloading a brochure from the National Survey of Student Engagement, A Pocket Guide to Choosing a College: Questions to Ask On Your College Visits.