Category Archives: College Campus Visits

The Importance of The College Visit

It’s finally summer, which means campus visit time for a lot of you. The campus visit is a huge piece to the college admission process and can be very influential for a number of reasons. A campus visit is about so much more than seeing the physical grounds of a school. It’s an opportunity to learn about the mission of the college, better understand what they value and how they educate their students. You’ll learn a lot about a school by taking a tour and participating in an info session. And ultimately, campus visits will help you solidify your college list (and eventually pick the school you want to attend). Don’t delay your visits. Take advantage of the summer and do your best to get on to the campuses you plan to pursue. Here are some of my top reasons for visiting schools now, rather than later:

To Help You Narrow Your Options – For those of you uncertain about what you want in a college, a campus visit is a perfect way to begin prioritizing what you do and do not want in a university. Each college has its own personality. As you get to know colleges and experience their campuses, you’ll begin to identify the things that you like and dislike. A college visit is a great way to begin the process of prioritizing your preferences. Ask yourself, “could I live here for four years?” Picture yourself on campus, interacting with the students you meet and sitting in the classrooms you observe. Take notes on your visits, and pretty soon you’ll begin to see a pattern of your preferences. The best way to figure out what you want in a campus is to visit!

To Demonstrate Your Interest – “Demonstrated Interest” is a term used by colleges to describe actions by a student that gauge how much he/she wants to attend their college. Every contact action by a student is tracked by the college to summarize the student expressing to the college “how much I love you” (Source: IECA) Colleges want to know that you are serious about their school and genuinely interested in what they have to offer. There are many ways to express your interest in a college, but few are better than a campus visit. Many colleges consider demonstrated interest in the selection process, but almost all colleges want to be sure you understand the personality of their campus before you apply. A campus visit gives you the opportunity to say to a college, “Hey! I’m interested in you and made it a priority to see your campus before I applied! I like what I saw and know exactly what I’m applying for!”

To Help You Find Your “Fit” – A college visit should be an evaluation. It’s a time to determine whether or not the college offers what you are looking for in a university. If you still aren’t sure what you want in a college, start with a simple list of things you would have in a “perfect college.” Use these to create a list of things that are most important to you in a college experience. As you see campuses, compare them to one another and to your list of priorities. Finding your priorities is a process and takes time; just one more reason to visit before you apply. And remember, applying to a college is about so much more than “can I get in?” It’s about finding a fit – a place where you feel comfortable and know you belong.

To Help You Write Your College Essays – I can’t tell you how much easier it will be to write your college essays if you have visited the campuses to which you will apply. If you can speak, from experience, to the most appealing aspects of each college, (and I mean beyond the beautiful campus, the small class sizes, caring faculty, and abundance of activities on campus), you’ll have a winning “Why Do You Want To Attend Our College” essay. Consider using your college visits to pick out distinctive things you appreciate about each campus, and then use those in your admission essays. A genuine application and essay is always better than a forced one.

For more information on successful college visits, developing a college list, or choosing a school that’s right for you, contact Amberley at awolf@wolfcollegeconsulting.com.

Advertisements

University of Redlands

Today Wolf College Consulting visited the University of Redlands Campus.  Check out this interview with students about why they decided to attend U of R and why they love it.

Also check out my Wolf College Consulting facebook page and search University of Redlands Photos to find out more information about my visit.

Pepperdine University

Wolf College Consulting

This week I was in Malibu and had the opportunity to drive through Pepperdine University.  The campus setting is the most beautiful of the campuses I have visited.  Pepperdine is
a Christian affiliated University that prides itself in moral integrity and a high academic standard.  The quality of teaching is very personal and exceptional. If you are looking for an extremely academic rigorous school that has strong morals, Pepperdine might be a great fit for you.

Check out my facebook page – Wolf College Consulting to see more pictures.

Tips for College Visits

Planning to visit a college soon?  Not sure what to ask at your next college visit?

Below you will find a list of some great questions that I recommend you asking at your next college visit.  It can be very overwhelming when visiting a college and I recommend that you bring a list of questions to each college you attend.  Then you can go home and compare the lists to help you find the best fit for you.  Make sure you also add ones that are important for you.

How large is your school?  Undergraduate number? Graduate Number?
What are your top 5 most popular majors?
How many majors do you have?
What is your retention rate?
What percentage of completed applications are accepted?
What percentage of students receive financial aid?  What is their average financial aid package?
What are your costs?
What makes your college unique?
How large are the classrooms?
Do professors teach in the classroom or Teacher Assistants?
What percentage of your students live on campus?
Can freshmen have cars?
Are there any rules that students need to follow?
List of classes needed to graduate
What is the difficulty to get the classes I need to graduate within 4 years?
If the school is a religous one, ask about spiritual life on campus.
What job opportunities do students have on or off campus?
What are students doing in my major after college?
Make sure to ask questions about any extracurriculr activity you are interested in — sports, theater, music, speech and debate, ASB, intramurals, leadership opportunities.

Make sure you also get a tour of the campus.  When you are taking a tour of the campus try and connect with current students on the tour to hear about their experience at the college.  On the tour, these are also places I recommend you visiting:
Freshmen dorms
Cafeteria
Academic Department
Classroom
Chapel (if visiting a religious school)
Library
Student On-Campus Hang Out Areas
Gym and/or other athletic/extracurricular areas of interest

Have fun and I can’t wait to hear about your college visit.