Rachel Arseneault ’10
Senior Assistant Director of Admission and Coordinator of Campus Visits and Events
How can I make the most of a college visit?
Rachel Arseneault ’10
I'm going to assume you've already fine-tuned the list of colleges you're planning to visit, and you have some dates in mind that work well to visit these colleges, too. Congrats! That's a great first step you've already taken.
Nnow you're ready to start scheduling your college visits - all of which can be done online now. You might be wondering, "What can I take advantage of when I visit these colleges?"
When registering for a college visit online, keep in mind that some visit options vary by class year, which might ultimately impact when you decide to visit these colleges.
At Grinnell, for example, high school seniors are presented with a more robust list of visit activities. When registering at Grinnell, seniors can elect to sit in on a class, meet individually with a faculty member or an athletic coach, or schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor.
The great news is though at the majority of schools, regardless of your class year, you can register for an information session and a campus tour. Any guests that choose to join you on these college visits can participate in these visit activities as well.
At Grinnell, an admission counselor and a current student will lead you through the information session, and after the information session ends, you'll go on an hour-long tour of campus led by a currently enrolled student. And, of course, the current student leading this tour will give you the inside scoop on all things student life.
I'd encourage you to ask lots and lots of questions during your college visits. If you're comfortable, strike up a conversation with a professor, speak to your admission counselor in the office of admission, and most importantly, spend as much time as possible interacting with current students. They were once in your shoes, too, so they'll be delighted to offer up their perspectives on their experiences. You might consider asking them some questions related to their own college search and how they navigated it. You might consider swinging by a theater or dance rehearsal, a music ensemble, dropping by an intramural athletic event, spending some time in the campus cafe or student union, relaxing on the lawn of central campus.
Last, but certainly not least, I'd recommend having a meal in the dining hall once you finish up your college visits.
Take some time to process your experiences before sharing your thoughts with others. What is your gut telling you? Trust it, and just remember that everyone you met during your college visits is happy to serve as a resource for you throughout the college search process.