How to Make the Most of Your First College Visit

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  • I always knew where I wanted to go to school so I only visited one college campus.

    College turned out to be the best four years of my life but there are some things I wish I knew so I got more out of my experience.


    Remember they’re here to help

    Most colleges don’t pay their tour guides. They do it because they were in your shoes and want to pay it forward. They are passionate about their school and want prospective or incoming students to have the smoothest start coming in. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.

    Get a map

    I was so overwhelmed by my tour that when I started several months later I forgot where half the buildings were. Luckily, there was a map on my school’s website but I wish I had grabbed a map and studied it during the tour. Even worse, I felt confident I knew the campus so I didn’t scope out my classrooms before the first day.

    I was able to ask other students where the buildings were but I set myself up for a lot more stress than I needed on my first day of school. After that, as soon as my registered classes were assigned a room number, I found not only the building but the classroom as well.

    Stop by the financial aid office

    If you don’t have a full ride, be sure to stop by the financial aid office before you leave. They may have reduced hours during the summer so find out when they’re open and plan accordingly if possible. They are an excellent resource for a wealth of information.

    Examples of help you can receive from them include waiving the application fee, help finding scholarships you may qualify for from within the school or otherwise, and information on work-study programs. Additionally, they will help you with your FAFSA application if that applies to you.

    Visit the surrounding city or town

    If the campus you are visiting is nestled in the heart of a downtown area, walk to a local restaurant or bar for a drink. Walking to a restaurant will allow you to observe a whole manner of things you might not have if you had driven. What are people wearing? Are they happy?

    Another benefit to visiting a restaurant within walking distance is there will likely be a number of college students there.Most schools don’t allow freshman to have cars and some schools may have limited to no public transportation.

    Visiting a college campus doesn’t have to be stressful. Remember, colleges and universities want to sell you on their school so they only pick the students they think will be the best ambassadors. After your tour, walk around the downtown area. Also, don’t forget to grab a map and visit the financial aid office but most importantly, have fun!

    If you found this content useful, be sure to share on Facebook and help your friends out, too!

    Image Credit: Pixabay

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