With Winter Break and Spring Break just around the corner, I want to encourage Juniors and Seniors to consider making use of that time away from school to visit colleges. College visits are incredibly important to your candidacy and college selection process.
By visiting a college you are making clear to their admission office that you are seriously interested in their school. Notes on the fact that you visited, what you did on campus, and impressions you made on the people you met in the admission or academic departments will likely be included in your application file.
Your visit often provides you the invaluable opportunity to interact with an admission officer (likely someone who can put in a good word toward your application review). For this reason, you MUST ask if you can have a meeting with your admission counselor, any available admission counselor, an admission intern, a professor, or ANYONE available. Make sure to contact the school 2+ weeks in advance to schedule your admission appointment, tour, and any other available visit opportunities (visit to a class, interview with a professor, etc.).
While visiting a college’s campus you have the opportunity to get a genuine, in-person experience of what the school feels like- What seems to be going on on campus during your visit? Do you see people around? Do they seem happy? Friendly? What kinds of things to you see posted around campus? Do people smile at you? Does this feel like a place you could enjoy being? Your intangible experience of the school is very important information that will help you ultimately decide if you want to go there.