Visiting college campuses is the best way to gain exposure to the different types of schools available. If your schedule and budget permit, plan a road trip! At this early stage, try to understand what type of school is most comfortable for you. If travel is not an option, you can easily figure this out by visiting a variety of schools close to home. Your guidance counselor can help you to make an initial list of schools to visit.
Call a family meeting— who’s going on the visits? Consider turning the college road trip into a family vacation. Younger siblings will love being included and can also benefit from the experience. Look at a calendar and choose dates. How far will you travel? Do you plan to stay overnight? If so, you will need to book a hotel or arrange to stay with a student on campus. Check the school website for travel resources including information on local hotels and restaurants as well as transportation options. If you don’t know a student who can be your host, many schools will make arrangements for you— contact the admissions office for details.
Map out a plan. Look through school websites and check the admissions page for campus visit dates and schedules for info sessions and campus tours— check if reservations are required. Some schools offer special programs where you can arrange to have lunch with a current student. Compare schedules for schools which are near one another— it’s possible to visit more than one school in a day. What would you like to see while on campus? Think about attending a game, a theater production or concert. Remember to buy tickets ahead of time. It’s ideal to visit when school is in session. If you’d like to sit in on a class, ask the admissions office about arrangements. Leave time to explore the surrounding community.
Which type of school can you envision yourself in? A campus visit is the ideal way to find out.