Campus Visits: Advice and Reminders

College Campus Visits: Advice and Reminders
Posted on 10/22/2019
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College Visits Improve Chance of Making a Good Decision

by Mrs. Bode-Steinke

           Whenever possible, students should visit the campus of any college they are seriously considering, and the best time to make those visits is when the college is in session.  Summer visits are okay for getting a general feel for a college, but it is only during the regular academic year that a prospective student can get a true picture for the “vibe” of the college.  Parents should also go on the college visit if their schedules allow; that way, they can ask those “parent questions” that a student might not consider.

           Most colleges now arrange campus visits through an online system on their Admissions Department webpages.  If something like “Visit Campus” isn’t an icon or link you can easily find, use the search capability and type in “campus visit.”  If that doesn’t work, scroll to the bottom and find a phone number. Prospective students and parents should not hesitate to call or ask questions.  Think of the people you speak with as working for you. Colleges need to enroll students, and they should treat you with respect and patience. If they don’t, maybe that’s a sign that you don’t want to go there.

           I tell students in our College Readiness course to use the “Trust your gut” rule when they make a campus visit.  If a student feels, “Hey, this is great; I can see myself here,” then it’s likely a good fit. On the other hand, if the feeling is, “This feels too big (or small), people aren’t very friendly, I don’t see myself here,” then it is likely not a good match.  Be sure to ask to visit a large lecture class, such as Intro to Psychology or a Biology 101 lecture; then ask yourself if you will be comfortable in such a class. Almost every college freshman takes a couple large courses like this, even at small colleges.

           Because we know campus visits are an important part of selecting the right college, we have a system in place so that a student’s attendance is not negatively affected.  The parent or guardian needs to email me (jbodesteinke@lewiscentral.org) or send a handwritten note at least two school days before the visit. In the email or note, include the name of the college and the date of the visit.  I then create a prearranged absence slip that your student completes and turns in to our Attendance Office. It is that simple.
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