SERF Sudbury

7 Tips to Help You Navigate College Visits Successfully

College students and visitors walking on a wide path with various student organization tents.

    1.  Consider visiting the more “local” colleges on your list first. Next, consider the schools further away and map out the logistics. Your investment of time and finances matter, so be thoughtful. Find a good balance so that you can enjoy the experience.
    2. Contact the admissions offices and see what your options are for visiting (college websites are a good resource). Try to connect with current studentswho have similar academic or extracurricular interests or backgrounds. If there is an opportunity to sit in on a class, take it. The more you personalize your visit, the more you will get out of it.
    3. Before you visit, do some research and write down your remaining questions. Seek answers during your visit. During the information session and campus tour, be mindful of the feel of the campus, notice the quality of the facilities/buildings, the layout of the campus, grab a copy of the college newspaper, and pay attention to the students and the overall “college vibe”. People-watching is encouraged and talking with students is even better.
    4. Get to know the surrounding area. Eat at a popular cafe, go to a sporting event, or take a walk around the local park. Find out how students spend their weekends and downtime. Are there opportunities for local internships or community service?
    5. Write it all down in the notes section on your phone, in a Google Doc, or in a notebook. Take pictures!
    6. Take advantage of the virtual tours featured on college-specific websites. They are convenient, informative, and an easy way for you to connect with and explore colleges.
    7. Be flexible, keep an open-mind, and have fun engaging! The more you invest in this process, the more confident, informed, and excited you will be when it comes time to apply.

A graduate of Connecticut College with a BA in Human Development and a teaching degree, Lauren Jackson also holds a master’s degree in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She earned a certificate in College Counseling with Distinction from UCLA and is a member of HECA (Higher Education Consultants Association). Lauren has worked as a college counselor in private schools and is the owner of Lauren Jackson College Consulting (est. 2018).