SOMERVILLE, NJ - It is officially summer and now is a great time for high school students and their families to visit college campuses, take a tour, and sit in on an information session. While the internet certainly has a lot of information on each college or university, it is hard to really understand if you will feel comfortable and “at home” at a school until you actually spend some time on its campus.

You can sign up for most campus tours and information sessions on a school’s website these days. If you can’t register online, you can always call the admissions office. To maximize your time at the school, be prepared to take notes during your time there.

Some questions to consider as you visit the school include:

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  • What does the “personality” of the school feel like?  
  • What type of students seem happiest there?
  • Who teaches introductory courses – professors or graduate students?
  • What kind of resources are offered to help students transition and succeed at the school?
  • What type of study abroad opportunities are offered?
  • What is the retention rate?
  • What is the percentage of students who get placed into graduate school? Receive a job offer?
  • What is a typical day like for the average student?
  • What kind of traditions does the school have?

These are just a few of the questions you could consider asking. Feel free to take some time to add some of your own.

In addition to participating in a tour and information center, you may want to just sit in the student center and do some people watching and even ask some of the students on campus some questions.

As you visit each school, remember to take notes of who you’ve met and what you learned. When you return home, you should either write a handwritten “thank you” note or email to Admissions with specific details from your time at the school. This little act shows demonstrated interest which is slowly becoming a minor factor in the admissions decisions of some schools.

Grab your sense of adventure, visit some schools and have fun!