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College Campus Visit Checklist

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Make the Most of Your Trip

Visiting a campus helps you get a sense of what that college — and life for its students — is like. This can make a difference when you’re deciding whether the college is a good fit for you.

When you’re planning your trips, make sure that you allow enough time to explore each college as fully as possible. Wander around the campus by yourself and imagine being a student there. Here are some things you can check out while you’re visiting.

Admission and Academics

Find out what you need to do to apply. And see if the college environment supports your educational goals.

  • Participate in a group information session at the admission office.
  • Interview with an admission officer.
  • Pick up financial aid forms.
  • Sit in on a class that interests you.
  • Meet a professor in your chosen major or in a subject area that you may want to pursue.
  • Get business cards and the names of people you meet for future contacts.

Campus Life

Daily life has a big effect on your happiness — and your success — at a college. Get a feel for student life and decide whether the college is a setting where you can thrive.

  • Take a campus tour.
  • Scan bulletin boards to see what day-to-day student life is like.
  • Talk to the coaches of sports in which you might participate.
  • Go to the career center and learn what services it offers.
  • Plan an overnight with a student.
  • Ask to see the residence hall where most freshmen live.
  • Visit the cafeteria, fitness center, library, bookstore and other campus facilities.
  • Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.

Campus Media

Tune in to learn what is happening on campus and what is on students’ minds.

  • Listen to the college radio station.
  • Read the student newspaper.
  • Review other student publications — department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
  • Browse through campus blogs.

Current Students

Being on campus gives you a wonderful chance to talk to the students who currently go to that college. You can ask questions like these to see what their experience is, and what yours might be like:

  • What are the best reasons to go here?
  • What do you do on weekends?
  • What do you love about this college?
  • What do students complain about most?