As the fall continues to roll along, many high school students are preparing to visit colleges and universities that they are interested in. Campus visits offer a great opportunity for both students and parents to experience the “feel” of a school. And while that reason alone is more than enough reason to justify a road trip, this campus visits can be leveraged to provide an advantage during the application process.
For a student seeking admission to a particularly selective school, seizing every opportunity to impact the process for the better is a wise. Below are three tips to help students make the most of their campus visit—and to boost their chances of admission:
1) Fit as much into your itinerary as possible. Depending on the school and the date that you schedule your trip, you should be able to experience more than simply a tour of the campus. In many cases, students can arrange an interview with an admissions counselor, and families can typically meet with financial aid counselors. Students can often visit the dorms, and in some cases may even be permitted to spend the night. You’re taking the time to visit the school—so while you are there, make sure you get the most out of it!
2) Thoroughly prepare for your interview with an admissions counselor. If you are able to schedule an interview, be sure to take it seriously. Too many students elect to “wing it”—and as a result, don’t present themselves in the best possible light. Prepare answers for questions about your academic record, extracurricular activities, and your skills and passions. Be ready to articulate your desires when it comes to your plans for college and beyond. And remember, as you are planning your trip, to dress appropriately for the interview. In many cases it will immediately precede or follow the campus tour, so make sure that whatever you wear for the tour is appropriate for the interview!
3) Research the school ahead of time and be prepared with any questions you may have. There is no better time to learn about a college or university than while you are there. Spend a couple of hours researching the school before your trip, and create a list of questions and concerns that you would like addressed. Whether it is the student leader of your campus tour, an administrator, or an admissions counselor—you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get the answers to important questions. Think about things like dorm and meal options, transportation issues, academic questions, and whatever else may be helpful as you make your final decision.
Your campus visits are a great opportunity to learn more about colleges and universities that you may be interested in attending. But they are also an opportunity to improve your chances of admission. If the school in question is highly competitive, it’s critical that you take advantage of every opportunity that you get to make a great impression. For further information, please get in touch with me today!