Monday, August 20, 2012

College Visit Tips

After visiting quite a few college campuses this summer, I’ve put together a list of tips to help you on your own college visits! 1) Ask questions. Here’s a list of some good questions to ask in case they’re not covered on the tour: -Ask about interviews. Does this college conduct interviews? If so, are they conducted locally or on campus? Are they recommended? -Ask about testing scores. Do they take the ACT or the SAT? Do they look at all three parts of the SAT, or just math and reading? What are the college’s median SAT scores? -Ask about recommendation letters. How many recommendation letters are they looking for? TIP: colleges usually don’t want any more than three recommendation letters. They don’t really like sifting through a ton of paper and a bunch of recommendation letters can actually take away from your individuality as a student. On my Notre Dame tour over Spring Break, the admissions officer said that they once received an application from a girl with eighty recommendation letters! She was rejected. -Ask about housing. Does the college provide housing for all four years? Do most students stay on campus for all four years? -Ask about internships. Do students typically participate in internships off campus? Does the college have a program to help students find internships? -Ask about study abroad. Does the college offer study abroad programs? If so, are they required? How much do the programs cost? 2) Dress comfortably. Wear comfortable shoes. If you’re doing a campus tour, you’re probably going to be walking a lot and the last thing you want is sore feet as you’re struggling to keep up with the group. 3) Stay at the front of the tour! On a campus tour, you might end up with a quiet talker or fast walker as your guide. By staying at the front of the line, you won’t miss anything and you can even chat with the guide. Ask him/her why they chose this school. You’ll have a chance to have a one-on-one conversation with an actual student. Ask them if they have any tips about the application process. 4) Bring a notebook and a pen. Take notes during the information session. Usually, the speaker will tell you about the application process, financial aid and college life that you might want to jot down. 5) Ask for the card of the admissions officer in your region. Admissions officers are assigned to certain regions of the country. If you’re having trouble with a part of the application, or you just want tips, call up your admissions officer. I’m not saying that you should call constantly, but it will help them remember your name if the two of you have actually had a conversation. Plus, it’s less intimidating to know that there’s going to be a real person reading your application. 6) Look for the “lightning bolt”. The lightning bolt hits you when you’re touring the campus or listening to the information speech. All of a sudden, you can picture yourself at this school. The campus seems familiar and you know at once that this is the place for you. If you’re not feeling the bolt at a certain college, then maybe it’s not a good fit. It’s all about what school is right for you and where, at the end of the day, you’re going to be happy

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