That first step on a college campus can have the most magical feeling. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement for your future and begin to picture yourself walking the quad or laughing with your new friends as you head to the local cafe to study. You may fall in love with the first campus you visit, but make sure you really love the school itself and not just the idea of college and moving away from home. Your college campus will be your new “home” for the next four or so years, so make sure you pick the right fit for you!
We asked Amanda Brasington, Recruitment and Experience Manager for Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), to give us some tips for getting the most out of your campus visit.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CAMPUS?
There is no wrong time to visit a college campus, but most colleges have preset days and times they offer tours. Checkout the website of the colleges you’re interested in visiting and register online for the day and time that best fits your schedule.
HOW MANY COLLEGES SHOULD I TOUR?
Students should visit several colleges of all different types and sizes, not just the one college they already think is right for them. College isn’t one-size fits all, and you’ll never get the full experience and feel of a college until you step foot on campus.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHILE ON CAMPUS?
It’s always a great idea to prepare questions prior to your campus visit, this way you don’t forget to ask about something important to you. Several good starting points for questions are: admission and scholarship deadlines, cost of tuition, fees and room and board, extracurricular clubs and organizations you may be interested in joining, campus traditions, and the course of study for your major. It’s also important to ask about student support services such as tutoring, counseling, financial advising, and campus security, just to name a few.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR AND/OR BRING TO THE VISIT?
Always dress comfortably and for the weather. Most campus tours include walking and you want to be as comfortable as possible. It’s also important to bring a water bottle and always be prepared for rain with a poncho, rain jacket, or umbrella. We can’t control the weather, but campus tours will go on, rain or shine.
SHOULD I PLAN TO MEET WITH A DEPARTMENT HEAD OR PROFESSOR?
In order to get a better feel for the department of your major, it’s a great idea to meet with a department head, professor, or academic advisor in your area of study. Don’t forget to reach out to your admissions advisor to assist you with scheduling this prior to your campus visit. Most faculty and staff members have busy schedules and may not be available if you drop in, but if you plan ahead, they would love to sit down with you and talk one-on-one.
Tips for parents on college visits:
- Parents should also prepare their own set of questions because you and your student are not going to have the same questions and concerns.
- If there are particular departments you want to meet with during your visit, be sure to inquire ahead of time to ensure a faculty or staff member will be available.
- Don’t forget each college will have something unique to offer your student. Be sure to write down what you each like or don’t like at the end of each visit so you don’t forget.