Any tips on getting the most out of college tour or info session?
Attending campus tours and information sessions is a wonderful opportunity to learn about a college and get your questions answered. More importantly, these are chances for you to interact with students, professors, admission officers, and others. It is paramount that you are prepared!
First, you should conduct basic research about the college, which includes reviewing the website, reading printed college materials, and researching the admissions process. Armed with some knowledge about the college, you can ask more specific questions and gain deeper insights that can strengthen your application. Don’t be the kid that asks the obvious questions during the college info session.
Second, you should prepare a set of 5-8 questions that are important for you. Given that you might be in a group or talking with different individuals, you will be prepared to gain different perspective and contribute to group discussions. You might not get a chance to ask them all; that’s ok. But if the tour guide or admissions officers asks “Any other questions?”, you’ll be ready. Remember to be an active listener because no one likes to answer the same question twice.
Third, you should have your pitch ready for why you want to attend the particular college. You never know who will ask you about why you want to attend a particular college. Even, if you are uncertain, you should be prepared to highlight the college’s strengths in your view.
Fourth, you should arrive 10-15 minutes early to any event as a way to talk to admission officers before the crowd comes. Sometimes, visitor parking and the admissions offices are hard to find.
Last, you should take notes and ask individuals whether you can contact them with additional questions later. If possible, get business cards for anyone relevant. The benefit is that you begin to build a relationship with someone at the college.
After the college visit, write a quick summary of what you liked and disliked. This will come in handy later, when you are trying to remember all of the colleges you visited and compare them. It might not seem like it now, but it’s easy to confuse which college had that great dining room you liked and which one smelled funny later.
Jolyn makes several college visits every year to get a good ‘feel’ for each school and its communities.
Can’t make it to the campus? Try an E-Campus Tour