Why Campus Visits Matter Part I: Asking the Right Questions

Think campus visits don't matter in the Internet age? Think again. In the first of a four-part series, a college admission insider explains why campus visits are important--and how you can get the most out of them.

Associate Director of Admission, Georgetown College

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2014

As we shift into June, it’s important to examine the opportunities that summer brings. For rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, this means the chance to take your potential colleges for a test drive. Taking the time to step foot onto the campuses you’re considering is tremendously important to your search process. It’s important to learn more about the school than can be obtained through a website or viewbook. There are relevant intangibles that can play a factor in your decision that you might otherwise not experience if you don’t visit. Each institution has its own personality that becomes far more recognizable once you’re actually immersed in the on-campus culture.  

In this four-part series, I’ll provide you with some important things to be mindful of to get the most out of your campus visit. Today, in Part I, I’ll explore the importance of asking visit-relevant questions in order to get the most out of your time on campus.

Ask visit-relevant questions

It’s important to make the most of your visit opportunities, and part of this is making the best use of your time speaking to admission staff, faculty, and students on campus. Don’t waste time asking about the average class size or how many students attend the school. While these are important parts of your evaluation, these facts and figures are easily available on most any school’s website or road piece. Use your time on campus to ask personal questions:

  • Ask current students why they chose the school or what the top thing they’d change about the school would be.
  • Ask faculty what kind of research their students get exposure to or what traits they look for to identify students with significant promise.
  • Ask your admission counselor to describe the types of students that succeed at the institution or if there are important scholarship opportunities you need to be proactive in searching out.

These types of questions will help you cultivate a much more personal understanding of what niches your potential schools serve. With this information you can identify whether or not those niches fit for you.

Tune in next week for Part II on how to get the most out of your campus visits! I'll be examining the importance of paying attention to the smaller, less noticeable details of a college campus.

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About Jessee Sandlin

Jessee Sandlin is a marketing and communication specialist, as well as a former associate director of admission at a Christian college in Kentucky. Considered by many friends, family members, and coworkers alike as an insatiable investigator, Jessee has devoted his professional career (and much of his personal life) to furthering the availability of higher education choices to students.

When Jessee is not poring over trends in enrollment management, meeting with students considering their college options, or traveling to various conferences and college fairs, he is spending time with his lovely wife, Holly. They share numerous passions and might be found exploring new local restaurants, engaging in home improvement projects, or visiting with family and friends.


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