• Visit the colleges that most interest you. Many colleges offer open houses and campus tours, and provide the opportunity to sit in on classes. At some colleges, you can arrange in advance for a personal interview with an admissions counselor. If you cannot visit the campus, the college’s website may contain an online tour. Use your time wisely. Try to visit schools when the school is in session, and usually Monday-Thursday, if possible.  This gives you a better idea of what the campus "feels" like during the session; there are usually less students on campus on Fridays. Call the admissions office or check the website for times and dates they schedule tours and appointments. Try to pinpoint what you are looking for in a school.  Ask questions regarding important factors while you are visiting the school. If you do not have the opportunity to visit a school prior to applying due to distance and cost (or any other reason), try to visit local schools to get a feel for your comfortable fit. Remember, this will be your home for four years. Following are factors to consider:

    • School size - physical size of campus and number of students
    • Class size –teacher to student ratio? male/female ratio?
    • Who teaches classes - Professors or Teaching Assistants
    • Number of years to graduate
    • Ease of enrolling in classes
    • Academic services available - tutoring, advising etc.
    • Climate (for east coast schools, students may want to visit in winter)
    • Suburban or urban - if suburban, proximity to city
    • Campus or City - Is there a main campus or is the school laid out across city blocks
    • Social options/extracurricular activities on and off campus - sports, greek life, clubs, theater, restaurants, sporting events, etc
    • Distance from home –will you be homesick? Can you afford the travel expenses (hollidays are most expensive time to travel)
    • Is this a commuter school - what happens on weekends - do students stay around?
    • In state/out of state - costs and opportunities associated with both
    • Public/private
    • Religious affiliation, depending on beliefs
    • Cost - tuition, books, room and board, transportation, extras
    • Financial Aid - availability and average financial aid packages
    • The required curriculum - declaring a major and ability to change your major
    • Retention rate - do students stay there? If not, why?
    • Do students graduate in four years
    • What are the housing facilities like
    • What are the housing opportunities over the 4 years
    • Food and dining options
    • Transportation on and around campus - bus, car, bicycles, walk
    • Campus safety
    • Study abroad opportunities
    • Internship/volunteer/job availability
    • Placement record for jobs after graduation

    Never be afraid to ask the college admissions counselors questions regarding your concerns. There is a correct school for each student. Choose the school that fits your needs, not your friend’s needs. Remember, this will be your home away from home.  Make sure the school offers you as many amenities and opportunites as possible to suit your needs.

    If you have questions, please ask either your counselor or Mrs. Aries in the College and Career Center.