For rising seniors, the college application process is just about to begin! It may be a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. We asked our friends at AdmitSee to see how students can start preparing for the process as summer begins.
We asked our college users, who have all successfully been through the application process, where they started and what they advise. Of all the college users on our site, one common piece of advice is to go on a college tour. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to approach college campus visits:
- Research universities you’re interested in. This can start in many different ways. You can start looking at the big name universities you’ve heard of and read about what they offer. If you already know what you want to study, look up which universities provide the best program for that specific field. If location is a priority, look up in-state universities, or schools in a specific location you want to be in.
“Coming from the snowy northeast I knew that winter and snow made me miserable, and my body just has a hard time dealing with the cold. So, I almost exclusively applied to schools in the south, California, or at least places warmer than New York. I then looked for schools with good academics that were medium sized research universities.” – aic4, Duke ‘18
- Narrow down your list. Once you’ve done your research, pick a few schools you are really interested in. Since you’re still in the process of learning what type of school is the best fit for you, make sure not to rule anything out. Include state schools, medium size universities, and liberal arts colleges, so you can see which type of school you prefer when you’re physically on campus. Alternatively, you can also choose to visit city schools, suburban schools, and rural schools to find out if that factors into your choice.
- Campus tour information. Be prepared for your college tour. Nail down the logistics of your college tour so you can make the most of your visits. While the campus tour and information sessions may seem bland at first, it’s still an important resource to you in your college search.
- Schedule time with professors. If you’re interested in a particular field, this is especially important for you. Do some research and email professors ahead of time to meet them and talk in person. They can answer any questions about the curriculum and teaching style each university has, and if you impress them, they may even recommend you!
“I am interested in a very technical field, yet I am attending a liberal arts college. I had a ton of questions about how a Bachelor of Arts would look in my field, so I emailed a bunch of professors, inquiring about how their program prepared students for the working world.” – BeleBull, Bowdoin ‘19
- Talk to current college students. Don’t be scared to reach out to students who are on campus! They’ve all been through the process before, and most of them don’t mind answering some questions about campus life, and what they like or dislike about the school. Don’t find any? You can talk to college students on AdmitSee’s mentorship platform.
- Take notes. With the number of schools on your college tour list, you’re likely going to be overwhelmed with the amount of information you’re being fed. You’ll find that after the first 3 college visits, the rest of them just blur together. To help you remember what you liked and disliked about each school, make sure you have a checklist of your priorities and check off which schools satisfy them. This will help you make your decision on where to apply at the end of your college tour!
Choosing where to go to college is an incredibly important decision. Make an informed choice by talking to current students on our mentorship platform. Access 60,000+ successful college application files uploaded by college students. AdmitSee is a community of students helping students. Our goal is to bring much-needed transparency to higher education.
Thanks for the valuable information AdmitSee!
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