VISITING COLLEGESA visit to campus is the best way to see for yourself what a college is like. Visits are arranged by contacting the admission office by telephone or e-mail or through the admissions webpage. Visiting provides the opportunity for direct observation and experience. You will get a sense of the “personality” of each college, and the composition of the student body. When you visit a college, talk to students and ask questions. Explore the areas of most interest to you, using the following criteria:LOOK AT THE STUDENTS:
- Where are they from? Local communities? Other states and countries? Public or private schools?
- What are they like? Studious? Social? Athletic? Intellectual? Diverse?
- Do they seem comfortable? Overworked? Bored?
- What do they do on and off campus:? Sports? Student government? Greek life? Concerts/lectures/plays? Clubs? Community service?
WHEN YOU TALK TO STUDENTS ASK:
- What do you like most about this college?...least?
- If you had it to do again, would you still choose this college?
- How many hours a week do you study? Is that typical of students here?
- How easy is it to get the classes you want at registration?
- How available are campus jobs?
- How accessible are faculty members outside of class?
- What do students do on weekends?
- How easy or difficult is it to study in your dorm room?
- What is the library like as a place to study?...to do research?
LOOK AT THE CAMPUS:
- Facilities: Libraries? Laboratories/classrooms? Student Center? Book Store?
- Dorms: Comfortable? Noisy? Condition? Freshman housing? Is there enough room? Is there enough privacy? Is housing guaranteed all four years? Off campus housing available? Are there themed houses available? Greek housing?
- Meals: How is the food? How flexible is the plan? Do they cater to special diets (vegetarian, Kosher, etc.)?
- Athletics: Who plays? Are intramurals and/or club sports available? How are the facilities?
- Student services: Academic counseling? Personal counseling? Career counseling?
- Religious services: Services on or near campus? Religious organizations on campus?
AS YOU TOUR THE CAMPUS, ASK YOURSELF:
- What’s on the bulletin boards? This is a good indication about what is going on on campus.
- What are the issues being discussed on campus or in campus publications?
- Are rooms in residence halls pleasant? Quiet enough to study in?
- How appealing are the setting and architecture?
- What is the condition of the buildings? Are there new buildings as well as older ones? Is lab equipment up-to-date and plentiful?
- Are common areas in the residence hall attractive? Are there laundry and kitchen facilities?
- What are the cafeteria and other eating areas like?
- Are the grounds well-kept?
- What’s the surrounding town or city like? Would I feel comfortable here?
LOOK AT THE CLASSES:
- How large are the classes? What is the typical size of a freshman class? Does it change over the college experience?
- How many very large classes should I expect to take?
- How are they taught? Lectures? Seminars? Free discussions?
- By whom are they taught: Professors? Graduate assistants?
WHEN YOU ATTEND A CLASS, ASK YOURSELF:
- How interested do students appear to be in the material?
- Is the lesson interactive?
- Is there time for questions and discussion? Do students participate?
- What is the rapport between professors and students?
- Would I feel comfortable as a student in this setting?
SUGGESTIONS FOR A COLLEGE VISIT
q Take a campus tour
q Meet with an admission officer
q Meet with a professor in the major in which you are interested.
q Talk with students and faculty. If possible, meet with former SHS students.
q Visit a residence hall
q Visit the cafeteria/library/student commons
q Attend a class
q Ask about financial aid opportunities, if appropriate.
q Visit with a person in academic support services, if appropriate.
q Meet with a coach, if appropriate.