By: April Pickens, student author
The time has come- you’re going on your first college visit! You will see all kinds of cool things and be inundated with a ton of college-specific facts. But, out of all the information you receive (and it will be a lot), what are you going to take with you? What are you going to need to remember for when you choose your college? Friends, do not worry, because I, your friendly campus tour guide, am here to help you! I have created a list of a few things that I think are really important, and hopefully they will help you as you begin your college search.
Total enrollment. While this might seem like something that is common knowledge, it really is important to think about. Do you want to go to a large school, or a small school? What are the benefits of both? Which would you feel more comfortable with?
Cost. Most schools will have a pamphlet or an online site where you can see about how much you will have to pay per year for your education. From there, you can guesstimate what you will pay, based on scholarships you my receive and other forms of financial aid.
Housing. Do you want to live in a residence hall? How nice are the residence halls? Are you allowed to live in off-campus housing your first year, or do you have to live on campus for a year?
Atmosphere. Is this campus a place where you can see yourself being happy and successful? Can you imagine yourself living here? If you can, yay! If not, you might want to look at a few other places.
Take time to explore. While going on tours is really cool, and you will definitely learn a lot, there are many places on campus that the tour won’t go. After your tour finishes, go exploring campus by yourself. Look in classrooms, pickup and read a student newspaper. These are some of the best ways to experience campus.
What does the area around campus feel like? Are there fun things to do off campus? How long does it take to get to the mall or the grocery store? While you will probably be spending most of your time on campus, the area around it is just as important!
Consider the weather. There are plenty of students that come from colder or warmer places in the world and decide to go to college where the weather is not the same as where they grew up. Make sure you are prepared to handle icy winters or scorching summers!
Preparing for My Campus Visit – Guide (free download)
Choosing the College that’s Right for You – Worksheet (free download)
April Pickens is a senior at Purdue University, and has been writing short stories since the age of three, so it’s probably a good thing that she is majoring in Professional Writing! She plans to work in publishing and editing, and knows that this experience will further the skills she will use in future jobs and opportunities. As an intern with My College Navigation Hub, she looks forward to sharing her collegiate experiences with others (even the mistakes and slip ups), and hopefully helping students make their college years the best they can be!