Spring is right around the corner, which means it is time to schedule campus visits! In this information age when all we need to know is at our fingertips, is an in-person visit really necessary? In a word, yes! The truth is, every campus has a different vibe, and you can only get a true sense of its atmosphere by experiencing it firsthand.
Think about it. Over the next several years you will spend a lot of time and money at the college you choose. You have a responsibility to yourself to ensure it’s a good fit. While virtual tours and online research serve an important purpose, especially in the beginning stages of your college search, it’s nearly impossible to get a sense of place through those alone. You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive. Don’t “buy” your education without giving the place a whirl. Every campus has a different vibe, and you can only get a true sense of place through an in-person visit.
The good news is campus visits are easy to set up. Simply contact the college’s Admissions Office at least two weeks in advance. This is a great opportunity to meet professors, check out dorms, sit in on classes, visit with current students, and even check out the food in the dining hall. Let’s be honest, that last one is high priority.
The process of narrowing down your college choices can be overwhelming and complicated, but we can help! Here are some tips:
- Explore your career interests before you determine which colleges to visit. Visit the Exploring Careers section at oEducationQuest.org for free resources.
- Start looking at colleges your junior year so you can narrow your choices by the time you’re a senior. Click here to find a list of Nebraska colleges and links to their websites.
- Schedule your visits at least two weeks in advance. Ask for appointments with an admissions representative, financial aid counselor, and a faculty member in your area of interest.
- Try to visit while the colleges are in session. You won’t get the true flavor during breaks or finals week.
- Be prepared with questions to ask. It’s important for YOU to ask questions, not just your parents or guardians.
- Talk to a faculty member about upper-level classes in your anticipated major. This will help you understand the coursework that will be required and the degree of difficulty.
- Ask the financial aid counselor how the college may offset tuition costs and about college-based scholarship applications and deadlines. Don’t forget to check out ScholarshipQuest, a free database that contains more than 2,000 scholarships.
Get a sense of “fit” before you commit! Schedule your campus visits now.