Choosing a college is a big decision. If you have a long list, or your favorites are far from home, you may not be able to visit all of your options. While visiting is one of the best ways to determine whether or not a college is right for you, there are many resources you can use to narrow your search.
Start by visiting a college’s webpage. Look at the departments you are interested in. Check out statistics and demographics, such as student to faculty ratios. Find out what resources, clubs, and organizations are present on campus. Learn about student housing and the social environment.
Virtual tours are also very helpful for seeing what the campus is like. Many universities offer virtual walking tours that offer 360 degree views of campus buildings and spaces. These tours are complete with videos and student guides. Check out YouVisit.com to experience in depth tours of many campuses throughout the United States.
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. One of the great things about campus visits is the opportunity to talk with students and faculty about the campus and programs. You can call colleges and make appointments to speak with academic advisors, recruiters and even students. The more contact you have with a variety people affiliated with campus, the more you can develop a feel for what the institution is like.
Once you have narrowed your choices down, you can pick a few campuses to visit to make your final choice. You can develop an excellent understanding of a college without ever leaving your home, as long as you are thorough. Develop a list of criteria so that you know what you are looking for and whether or not a potential college will meet your needs. Start your search early, so that you will have plenty of time to do research and make contacts before the application is due and decision deadlines approach.
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