Top Tips for Planning College Visits and Tours
The time has come, you’ve narrowed your list and are ready to take it to the next level: Visits!
We all know the college search process looks different since COVID-19, but different doesn’t mean bad. In some respects, you and your family have even more options and flexibility than before. Now, instead of having to cross a school off your list because you couldn’t hop that flight or fit it on the schedule, you can visit virtually.
Nonetheless, the process has certainly changed so we’ve pulled together a list of things to keep top of mind when planning and participating in your visits, be it virtually or in real life (IRL):
Find your fit:
Visit a variety of schools: If you only try on a few schools, you could be missing out on your perfect fit. With all the virtual options, you can easily add a few additional schools to your list and get outside your comfort zone. Because, as our very wise VP & Dean of Enrollment Management, Shannon Zottola, has said, “Finding your fit is about getting out of your comfort zone. Being nervous, knowing you may need to grow and change, but understanding that in the end, you can do this and it will only make you better.”
Visit in multiple ways:
Just as you did when researching schools (the college website vs. student run social), you’ll want to see things from various vantage points. Be sure to participate in open houses, 1:1 info sessions, chats with a counselor or professor and if you can, small group visits. Not only will you interact with different campus staff, but you’ll be able to see if the campus personality and vibes are consistent.
Think about time of year:
If you can visit when students are on campus, that’s ideal. That way you can see what student life is like, get a feel for the energy on campus and maybe even chat with a student or two. We realize this is a bit trickier due to COVID-19, but many campuses are still offering individual visits and also have hybrid models with certain student populations on campus.
Demonstrated Interest = BONUS POINTS:
We’ve said it before here and here, but it’s so important, that we’ll mention it again: by showing up on campus, participating in virtual visits and opening up emails, you show colleges how serious you are about their school. Initially, this may not matter to you, but don’t play hard to get! Stay engaged, show up to various events and know that it’ll be worth it when admission season rolls around.
Make a list of questions:
Now is your chance! Jot down some questions in advance and don’t be afraid to ask questions about all the things that matter to you. Some schools may follow a script, but don’t hesitate to jump in and ask your most important questions.
If you’re ready to try Ursinus on for size, head over to ursinus.edu/visit. We have a host of options for you to learn all about why Ursinus is big enough to expand your horizons, but small enough to feel like home.