The Campus Visit

We encourage you to visit any college that you are seriously considering. There is no better way to learn about the college/university -- the faculty, facilities, campus spirit, academic life and social life. You will get a feel for the school and hopefully avoid any unpleasant, unexpected surprises. The best time to visit is the fall of your junior or senior year on a week day when classes are in full swing. Arrange an overnight visit if possible.

1. The campus visit can be considered “educational insurance."

  • You are more likely to choose a college that is “matched” to your needs.
  • You will have an opportunity to evaluate what students wear, how they live, etc.
  • You will be able to observe where you will eat, sleep, study, worship, attend classes and take part in campus activities.
  • You are likely to do better work if you are in an environment that is congenial to your value system and needs.

2. Preparing for a college visit:

  • Arrange for your visit in advance. 
  • Plan to visit the library, student center, classes, dorms, cafeterias, etc.
  • Allow sufficient time for a college visit -- preferably a full day, but not less than a half-day at each college.
  • Familiarize yourself with the college catalog/bulletin before visiting so that you can ask intelligent questions when you arrive on campus.
  • Inform the college about your areas of interest: curriculum, activities, etc. 
  • Indicate whether you have applied for admission.
  • Know facts about your high school before visiting: percentage of graduates going on to college, average test scores, etc. GHS publishes an annual report every year. You can obtain one in the office.                                                                       
  • Summarize your personal data (interests, awards, activities, test scores, transcript, rank, etc.). You may not be asked for it, but it is good to have it with you just in case.
  • Give careful attention to your appearance, grooming and conduct. The campus interview facilitates putting a “face” with a name. Often, notes are kept and placed in your application file. Remember to put your best appearance forward.
  • Try to do the following:
             A. Visit several classrooms.
             B. Talk to several college students. Ask about the academic and social life on         
            C. Take your camera and notebook. After you have visited, make some notes
                 while the information gained is fresh in your mind.
                  1. Impression of facilities and campus.
                  2. Impression of faculty and students.
                  3. Instructional program and regulations.
                  4. Costs.
                  5. Names and titles of officials you have visited and talked with.
              D. Stay overnight in a dorm.
              E. Have lunch in the dining hall.

3. What to learn about and what to ask on a campus visit

  1. Classes

  • What is the average class size for freshmen?  Upperclassmen?
  • Who will teach freshman courses -- graduate assistants or faculty?
  • What level of degrees do the majority of the faculty have?
  • What are the distribution requirements for a degree? 
    ----Is math required of all students?
    ----Is another language required?
  • What is the faculty advisor system? How easy is it to meet with advisors?
  • What is the availability of courses in the field you are interested in? 
  • Is there flexibility, and are there special opportunities?
  • What are the college’s top three programs?

  2. Campus

  • Does the campus appeal to you? Is the size appropriate for your needs?
  • How far is it from the local community? Is there easy access to stores?
  • What is the nature of the surrounding community?
  • What about housing?
    ----Are freshmen required to live in a dorm? 
    ----How is housing assigned? Is there a housing application? A deadline? A deposit?
    ----How many students per room? Are single rooms available? How are roommates assigned?-------Are rooms fully furnished or do you need to bring things?
    ----Are the dining facilities of the dorm satisfactory?
    ----What percentage of students live on campus?
  • What about religion? Is chapel required? Is there a church of your denomination nearby?
  • Social and recreational activities
    ----What do students do on weekends? 
    ----What percentage of students remain on campus on weekends?
    ----Are there fraternities or sororities? What percentage of the students belong? 
    ----Are there opportunities for independence?
    ----Does the college have a social room or union?
  • Athletics? 
    ----What varsity sports are played? 
    ----Are there opportunities for participation? 
    ----Are the students active supporters of athletic events?
    ----Are there intramural sports?                                    
    ----Are the facilities adequate?

3. Admission Criteria

  • How will the college/university be evaluating the student? 
  • What criteria are used in the process? Test scores, GPA, rank, quotas, area of study, recommendations, activities, other subjective factors?
  • Is the college admissions office fully aware of the type of high school you attend?
  • What is the enrollment and composition of the student body?
  • What are the application deadlines and procedures?

4. College Costs and Financial Aid/Scholarship Opportunities

  • What are the school’s basic costs (tuition, room, board, fees)? 
  • What other costs are involved in attending (books, personal, etc.)?
  • What kinds of financial aid programs are available? 
     ----What is the procedure for applying? 
  • Are work opportunities or loans available?
  • Does the school offer merit or no-need scholarships? 
  • Does it offfer athletic or talent awards?

5. Placement and Graduate Statistics

  • How are the students who graduate from the college/university viewed by employers?
  • What percentage of graduates continue on with graduate or professional study?             
    ----Pre-med? Law?
  • What are some of the placement statistics of graduates not pursuing professional study?
  • What employers visit campus?
  • Is there a career planning program for students?
  • What is the average drop-out rate? Why do students leave?

6. General Atmosphere

  • What is the college’s history, objectives, extent of traditions, direction or philosophy?   
  • How will it affect the student?
  • What is the faculty’s attitude toward students? Is it friendly?
  • How is the student body as a whole? Are students happy, friendly and independent?
  • Do students appear serious about their work?
  • What is the attitude of the students toward college administration and faculty?

7. What are some of the regulations for all students? 

  • Attendance policy?
  • In general, does the college appear to be relatively strict or fairly liberal in its operation?

After the campus visit

  • Write thank-you notes to the director of admissions and to any other staff or faculty who interviewed you and extended you courtesies while on campus. This should be done promptly upon returning home.
  • See your counselor and discuss what you have learned.
  • Review evaluations and impressions.
  • Begin ranking order of the colleges on your list.