Why is Visiting Colleges Important?
The campus visit is one of the most informative parts of your college search. Just think about it. Would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive?
Visiting a school you’re interested in is a lot like taking that new car for a ride around the block. A campus tour is your chance to follow your instincts, use your best judgment, and determine if a particular school is a place where you can picture yourself for the next few years.
With this in mind, here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider scheduling some college visits before making your final decision about where to attend.
You won’t really know if a school feels like home until you physically step foot on campus.
You can get some great information about colleges and universities from their websites, and a virtual tour is a good way to preview the campus, but you won’t get that sense of whether or not you feel at home until you take a trip to campus in person. If possible, visit every college you’re seriously considering. Making time to travel can be difficult (especially if you’re considering schools a good distance from your home), but trust us—you won’t regret it. You just might get that gut feeling as soon as you arrive!
You can meet current students and ask questions.
Connecting with current on-campus students is a great opportunity to get insight on the college experience from someone who’s actually living it. More often than not, your campus tour guide will be a current student at the school you’re visiting. Take that time to talk with them and ask questions that only a current student can answer. Ask about the dining hall food, campus events, or their favorite classes. You’ll be sure to get a real and honest answer from a student who is already navigating campus life every day.
You’ll get to see the school up-close.
A lot can change on a college campus in a short amount of time. Sometimes, the photos you see on a school’s website don’t necessarily reflect recent changes. While visiting campus, you’ll see the school’s facilities for yourself, and you’ll be able to compare the photos you’ve seen to what campus looks like in real time.
If possible, ask to see the buildings where classes for your program of interest are held. You’ll most likely be spending a lot of time in that space, and you don’t want to be stuck in the basement of an old, dusty building.
A college’s website will also most likely feature photos from the best times of the year. You’ve probably seen dozens of photos on school websites showing off trees that are full of leaves and budding flowers. Visit a school more than once and be sure to do it during different times of the year. This will help you to see how vibrant a school’s campus is, even in the middle of winter.
Go beyond the campus tour to make your visit special.
Before you visit, take a look at the events happening on campus. While you’re there, try to attend an athletic event, a student performance, or any other student-centered activities. This is your chance to get an idea of how you can get involved on campus. If there aren’t any major events happening while you’re visiting, be sure to keep your eye out for flyers advertising student activities around campus. More fliers means more opportunities to get involved as a student!
Whether you’re looking at schools 40 minutes from home or 4 hours away, now’s the time to begin putting some visits on your calendar. Not sure where to start? Visit each school’s website and take a look at the types of campus visits they offer (daily tours, open houses, personalized visits, etc.). It’s important to know your options. From there, you can decide which type of visit fits your needs best. All that’s left to do is hit the road and explore your future!
Interested in visiting us at York College?
Be sure to register for one of our open houses or daily information sessions and campus tours! We’re always ready to show you what YCP can offer, and how our students are set up for success from the very start of their college experience.