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Junior Toolkit

Section 4: College Visits

"For colleges, a campus visit is the most important sign that an applicant is seriously interested, and there are times when that expression of interest can make the difference between acceptance and rejection. All colleges prefer to admit students who are likely to accept their offers of admission."

- Brian Rosenberg, President of Macalester College



Visiting colleges before applying can be helpful.

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Should I bother visiting the colleges I’m applying to?

Yes, if possible. There is no substitute for actually having been on campus when you’re evaluating the colleges on your list. A campus visit often results in a school being crossed off–or added to–a college list.

If you do visit, be sure to schedule an official campus tour and group information session. Seeing the school is important, but if you choose to apply there it also helps to have a record of your interest in them. Also, try to meet with an admissions officer when you’re on campus, even if it’s an informal meet-and-greet. It’s not always possible, but it’s worth a try. If you decided to apply, helping them put a face to your name won’t hurt.

Visit if you can–especially if the college is within driving distance of your hometown. Demonstrating your interest in a college might carry weight with that school’s admissions officer later on.

Some of the questions answered in this section's video:

What if I can’t do a campus visit?

What time of year should I visit?

What should I do when I’m on campus?

What should I do afterward?

 

Video: College Visits (4:49)

Things to Remember:

  • You’re going spend years of your life on the campus of whatever college you decide to attend. Visiting beforehand can help ensure that you know what you’re getting into. This is an important choice, and seeing the college beforehand can help you make sure you’re making the right one.
  • Take notes on your visits. They will help jog your memory when you’re writing your supplemental essays, especially when you’re asked to write about why you want to attend a particular school (by far the most popular supplemental essay question).

 

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Other Sections in the Junior Toolkit: