Your college visit planner: Make the most of your time on campus

Visiting the colleges that you are considering attending can be an important factor in making your decision. If you plan to live on campus, it will be your home for the next four or more years. To make sure you see everything you need to, sign up in advance for a campus tour and use this college visit planner to make the most of your time on campus.

Some colleges offer virtual tours online. This shows you the basic layout, buildings and size of the campus. Check out the colleges’ individual sites to see if these are available. Some virtual tours are also available through third-party websites like youvisit.com or ecampustours.com.

When it’s time to visit the colleges you are considering, use this college visit planner to help guide your time on campus.

College visit planner

Before you visit a college campus, you should do a little research on the college. Look through brochures and view the college’s website and social media sites to find out basic information. This will give you more time on the tour to find out information that is not found in the printed material. You should also schedule a campus tour at least two weeks before you make the trip.

What Should You Bring Along?

There are several items you should bring with you in order to make the campus visit a success. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes since you will actually be taking a tour of the campus. You will also want to bring a notebook or journal so you can write down any notes that will help you remember the college. Since you may be seeing a lot of campuses, the journal will come in handy if you forget any details about certain colleges. Pictures will also help you remember particular details about colleges so be sure to take some pictures. You can use the camera on your phone if it takes good photos, otherwise, you may want to bring a camera. This will allow you to look back at pictures that can’t be found on the college’s website or in the brochures.

Use the following checklist while you are visiting each campus to help you make your decision.

Things You Should Do

  • Take a campus tour.
  • Have an interview with an admission officer. (Make sure that you’re ready to answer the questions asked!)
  • Participate in information sessions at the admission office.
  • Sit in on a class that interests you.
  • Talk to a professor in your chosen major(s) or in a few fields if you aren’t sure what your major is yet.
  • Talk to a student or counselor in the career center.

Additional Things to Do

  • Ask a student why he/she chose this college.
  • Ask a student what he/she loves and hates about the college, and if he/she likes the classes and professors.
  • Wander around the campus by yourself, paying close attention to the details.
  • Try to imagine yourself at this college — do you feel at home here?
  • Read the student newspaper.
  • Try to find other student publications — department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
  • Eat in a cafeteria, and ask about the food choices.
  • Check out the library.
  • Read the bulletin boards in the student union.
  • Browse in the college bookstore.
  • Read the bulletin boards in the academic department(s) you’re interested in.
  • Try to listen to students to hear what they’re talking — or complaining — about.
  • Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.
  • Try to find out information about job opportunities , both on campus and off.
  • Ask a student what he/she does on weekends.
  • Listen to the college’s radio station.
  • Try to see a residence hall that you didn’t see on the tour, or even request to stay overnight in one of the halls.
  • Find out if the school is a “suitcase school,” meaning that a lot of students go home on the weekends.

Are you a college visit veteran? Share your additions to this college visit planner in the comments below.