The college admission process is long and it is often complex. An important part of that process is visiting the colleges on your student’s list. But college visits are about so much more than just showing up.
A good college visit involves doing your homework before you go, listening between the lines to the admission presentation, and knowing what questions to ask to gather just the information you need. As intimidating as this may sound at first, college visits can be one of the fun aspects of this intense process.
The questions you ask (or even better, your student asks) are often fairly standard. How large are classes? Can students have a car? What are the popular majors? What is the graduation rate? These are important pieces of information, and you should ask all of the questions that are on your mind. But standard questions usually yield standard answers, not necessarily the information that will help your student judge whether this is the place they want to spend the next four years.
To get started, be sure to read our article on preparing for and making the most of an admission visit.
Student to student
As most students try to evaluate the colleges on their list, what they really want to know is whether this school is the place that they will feel comfortable and at home. Will it provide the experiences that they need to reach their goals? Will they find their people and be able to experience the life they want to live? This may be harder to determine with standard answers.