College Visits Country And Abroad
of what various colleges offer. Here’s a list of colleges I’ve visited since 2018:
|2018||University of Virginia||VA, USA|
|2018||Elon University||NC, USA|
|2018||Duke University||NC, USA|
|2018||University of NC – Chapel Hill||NC, USA|
|2018||University of Vermont||VT, USA|
|2018||Middlebury College||VT, USA|
|2018||Norwich University||VT, USA|
|2018||Northern Vermont – Lyndon||VT, USA|
|2018||Vermont Technical College||VT, USA|
|2018||Northern Vermont – Johnson||VT, USA|
|2018||Bennington College||VT, USA|
|2018||St. Joseph’s College||VT, USA|
|2018||Southern Vermont College||VT, USA|
|2018||Castleton College||VT, USA|
|2018||St. Michael’s College||VT, USA|
|2018||Champlain College||VT, USA|
|2018||Georgia Tech||GA, USA|
|2018||Ringling College of Art and Design||FL, USA|
|2017||University of West England||England|
|2017||University of Bristol||England|
|2017||University of Bath||England|
|2017||University of Bath – College of the Arts||England|
|2017||University of Falmouth||England|
|2017||University of Exeter||England|
|2017||University of Plymouth||England|
|2017||Royal Hollaway – University of London||England|
|2017||University of Bournemouth||England|
|2017||University of Bournemouth – College of the Arts||England|
|2016||University of Tampa||FL|
|2016||University of Jacksonville||FL|
|2016||Texas Women’s University||TX|
|2016||Wake Forest University||NC|
|2016||Cabarrus College of Health Science||NC|
|2015||University of Vermont||VT|
|2015||Loyola of Maryland||MD|
|2015||University of South Florida||FL|
|2015||University of Central Florida||FL|
|2015||James Madison University||VA|
|Miami of Ohio||OH|
|2014||West Virginia University||WV|
|2014||University of South Carolina||SC|
|2014||Blue Ridge Community College WV Rider University||NJ|
|2014||State College of Florida FL Quinnipiac University||CT|
|2014||University of Dallas||TX|
|2014||Texas Christian University||TX|
|2014||School of the Museum of Fine Arts||MA|
|2014||Edison College (now FL Southwestern)||FL|
|2014||Embry Riddle FL Emmanuel College||GA|
|2014||University of Alabama||AL|
|2014||University of New Haven||CT|
|2014||Gulf Coast University||FL|
|2012||University of Maryland||MD|
|2011||Hollins VA Bluefield||VA|
|2010||Rensellear Polytechnic University||NY|
|2010||Mount St. Mary’s University MD Gettysburg College||PA|
|2010||Penn State Mount Alto||PA|
|2010||Shenandoah VA Shepherd University||WV|
Keys To Successful College Admissions
One of the keys to successful college admissions is for a student and family to visit colleges. I myself visit at least 15-20 colleges per year so that when I put a school on a student’s list, I know that the school and the student would be a good fit.
Think of it the same as purchasing a home. You wouldn’t spend that kind of money without walking through the home and asking yourself if you can see yourself there. Visiting a college before going there, to me, is the same as purchasing a home. A student who, if at all possible, walks the campus, samples the food, checks out the dorm, and talks to a professor, is more confident in their college choice than a student who decides on a college simply by checking out the website.
Don’t just take my word for it. The quoted remarks here are from a few of my current seniors, after they have visited colleges:
“I really thought I’d like this campus. It has been my #1 dream college since I was a kid. My dream clashed with reality. It was dark. The rooms were old and dark. The classrooms were dark. And, no one smiled. Take this off my list.”
“I really liked this school. It felt clean to me and very well put together. The school has great internship opportunities. My Mom and I talked to the head of the cafeteria like you suggested and they definitely can accommodate my diabetes needs. I also liked that I didn’t need to be majoring in Dance in order to participate in the program. I definitely want to keep this school on my list.”
“I really didn’t think I’d like this school. I thought it would be too small and wouldn’t have any school spirit. Mom and I decided to visit at the last minute and I LOVE it. Definitely want to keep it on my list. The opportunities available for internships blew me away. All dorms are suite style, which looks great. We even got to attend a basketball game. The school spirit is off the charts. Definitely want to keep this one on my list.”
In my 30+ years both as a school counselor and an independent college counselor, I have fielded many questions from parents and students about visiting colleges.
What’s the value of a college campus visit?
Touring a college campus gives students and parents the opportunity to really get to know all aspects and opportunities that this school has to offer, above what can be learned on a college’s website or visiting Reddit. I recommend that students come prepared to get the most out of their visit by reviewing the website and social media pages and writing down any specific questions that they want to be answered while on the tour.
Bottom line: visiting a college campus takes away any doubt that either the student or parent may have.
How many college campuses should I tour?
How do I schedule college visits?
Can anyone walk through a college campus?
Prior to the pandemic, I would have said “yes” however, security on many college campuses has increased, due to COVID safety concerns. If you want to walk a college campus, but your schedule doesn’t permit taking an “official tour.” my recommendation is that you call the admissions office and ask them if you can.
I would also ask them this question: “Does your college keep track of demonstrated interest?”
If the answer is “Yes”, then I would explain your scheduling concerns to the admissions office and see if, together, you can find a time to ‘officially’ visit.
Demonstrated interest is where the colleges keep track of any student who has visited, which supports the student in gaining admission to the school.
If the school doesn’t keep track of demonstrated interest and allows you to walk the campus, you can download a pdf document of a walking tour of the campus through Google.
What can I expect from an official college campus visit?
How long are college tours?
Questions to ask on a college visit or college tour?
Topics for questions could include:
- Specific questions about the major, including;
- Study abroad
- Internship opportunities
- Research opportunities
- Specific questions about extracurricular activities,including:
- How to get involved
- Weekend activities on campus
- Sponsored weekend activities off of campus
During your college visit, be sure to:
- Eat in one of the cafeteria’s
- Pick up a newspaper or the QR code for the paper. When reading the paper, pay particular attention to all that happens on the weekend. You probably won’t have a car. Can you keep busy on the weekends? Are there opportunities to meet new friends?
- Talk to a professor who teaches your major. Many admissions counselors will set that up when you register to visit.
- Parents, be sure to talk to the financial aid office about their timeline for awards and scholarships
What to wear on a college tour?
Great question. I have seen students wear everything from a 3 piece suit or dress with 4 inch heels to a tee shirt, shorts and flip flops. Unless the college is very small, it is doubtful that anyone in admissions will remember what you wore during your visit.
My best advice is to dress comfortably, sensibly and for the weather. You will be walking for up to 2 hours so wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes that look good and are comfortable without being revealing.
How I can help you make sense of the college tour process?
As your individual college counselor, I am available to guide you through the entire college tour process and answer any questions you may have. I have forged relationships with many admissions counselors. If I know ahead of time, I can let the counselor know you are coming and what specific questions you may have.
As a former special education teacher and school counselor, my knowledge of the college campus tour process is extensive, having toured more than one hundred US and UK campuses in my career. Contact me at dianne@launching college success.com or 240-285-1920 to explore how I can support both you and your student through this process.