Information For Prospective Students
If you are thinking about applying to study at Cambridge, our open days and events offer opportunities to get a feel for the city and the University. You can find out more about admissions procedures, courses, facilities, student life within the collegiate University and ask any questions you might have.
Establish Your Budget From The Start
First off, its important to figure out your budget from the start. Determine how much you can afford to pay for campus visits without breaking the bank.
Once you have your budget, you can choose which schools to prioritize and which ones to leave off your list.
If, for example, you can visit five nearby schools for the same cost as one college thats located across the country, it might be more worthwhile to stay local.
Turn Off Your Cell Phone
This should go without saying, but imagine the embarrassment of your Drake or Taylor Swift ring tone blaring unexpectedly during an admissions meeting. Do yourself and your classmates a favor by turning off your phone entirely before the information session. You can definitely do without it for an hour, and if theres an emergency, you can be certain that someone will contact the school if they cant get through to your phone.
Don’t Miss: Central Texas College Bachelor Degrees
Get The Most Out Of Your College Visits
College visits are probably the most fun part of the college application process. When it comes to researching potential schools, theres no better substitute for figuring out if a campus will feel like home.
If possible, visit every college that you are strongly considering. No website, guidebook, or testimonial will give you a better feel for a school than you’ll get by seeing it for yourself. Many students change their minds after a campus visit. This is obviously preferable to changing your mind after you enroll! Get the most out of your time on campus with our college visit checklist:
Meet With An Admissions Officer
As youre scheduling your college visits, find out if you can meet with an admissions counselor.
Setting up a meeting is a great way to get expert insight on the college community. Plus, the admissions officer might be able to shed light on what they look for in a college application. You could get valuable intel that helps you put together an effective application.
If theres a list that tracks visiting students, make sure to add your name. Some admissions offices keep track of who has visited and shown what they call demonstrated interest in the school, a factor which could potentially help you get accepted.
You May Like: Colleges Like Ashworth
Schedule A Tourand More
Here’s the general how-to on scheduling your college tour.
1. Go to the colleges website, and click on the “Admissions” tab.
2. If it’s a university where graduate programs are option, be sure to go to undergraduate admissions.
3. Click on the “Visit” or “Visiting Campus” tab.
4. Choose the right option for your visite.g., Daily Visit, Weekend Visit .
5. Check the calendar for an available day that you can attend, and click on the day.
6. Fill out the required informatione.g., name, address, school and graduation year, academic interests, etc.
7. If you have the time, sign up for everything else they offer, including a class visit, specific majors information sessions, lunch, a meeting with a professor or coach, and more.
8. Click “Submit”!
9. Check for a confirmation email. If you dont receive one within 24 hours, make sure to contact the admissions department to check that your request was received.
If you’re only able to sign up for a tour, call the admissions office to ask if there’s anything else available. You’re probably only visiting each school once, so you want to pack in as much as possible. Ideally, your student will be able to observe a class, meet with either a student or a professor , and chat with the admissions representative for your area of the country.
Visits Show Demonstrated Interest
Colleges are eager to admit applicants who have done their research and are excited about the possibility to attend a specific school. Every university strives to maintain its yield rate or the number of accepted applicants who choose to enroll. Colleges are looking for students who demonstrate strong knowledge and interest in a school as they may be more likely to enroll if admitted.
Visiting a college is one way in which applicants can demonstrate their interest in a specific institution, as they get first-hand experience of the campus, and some colleges even track whether or not students have visited. In order to ensure the college has a record of your visit, register in advance for official tours and information sessions.
You May Like: Selling College Books Online
How Can You Know Until You Go Visit Colleges
Many people ask that question. This is based on the cliché, Youll know it when you see it, which claims that teenagers need to visit dozens of schools in many locations. When they do so, they will come upon the perfect college just right for them, and theyll fall in love with it.
This will result in happiness.
Thats a myth.
Every year, thousands of teens and their families are misled by slick tours of beautiful campuses and think theyve found love. Its so easy to be swayed by ephemeral experiencesthe way the sun slants through red maple leaves on an October day, the crackling logs in the fireplace of an admissions office or the friendly student who leads your tour.
These are all moments that may happen once and never again during your four years at the school. They may put you in a good mood that day. But they are not the stuff to base important decisions on.
I dont mean that college visits arent important. You may learn things on a visit that youll never get from a book: whether a campus feels sleepy or bustling, whether student housing looks appealing or overcrowded, for example.
But there are also things you can learn in five minutes from a book, or the internet, that you might not glean after traipsing around a campus for hours: the special programs in your areas of interest and the quantities of financial aid available, are two important ones.
How Important Are College Visits
Most high school students are aware that the college admissions process is multi-faceted and can be very time-consuming. With the demands of building a college list, preparing for standardized tests, writing application essays, and more, it can often feel like fun things like college visits shouldnt be prioritized. However, not all applicants understand the unique and important role campus visits play in the college admissions process.
Visiting Harvard, Princeton or any other dream school allows students to gain perspective on what kind of environment they are looking for, and it also helps applicants highlight their interest in prospective colleges. Theres more to campus visits, however than just being a gut check on whether or not a school is a good fit for a student. Here are a few other reasons why college visits are important and what applicants can do to ensure they gain as much as possible from each visit.
Recommended Reading: Test Out Of College Classes
Save The Best For Last
You’ll get better at visiting colleges with practice. As you compare schools, you pick up on the aspects you like and the aspects you’re not so fond of. You also figure out the right questions to ask, as well as the best campus spots to gauge student life. For that reason, visit your favorite schools last, so you’ll be in the best position to make comparisons to the others on your list.
How To Prepare For Your Official Visit
Because official visits are more formal than unofficial visits, theres a bit more prep work required from athletes before the visit takes place. Follow this checklist to make sure youve covered all your bases:
- Put together your list of questions for the coach. During your official visit, you will have a chance to get all your questions answered, so take advantage of this opportunity. Sit down with your parents before the visit and brainstorm all your questions. Write down your questions for the coach and bring the list with you. This way, you dont forget an important topic and you can impress the coach with your preparedness.
After Your Unofficial Visit: The Coach Follow
When you get home, write the coach a thank you note. Tell the coach what you liked about the school and thank them for their time. You can also include a brief list of where youll be playing next so they can watch you in person. Not only does this show the coach that you are a thoughtful, courteous athlete, but it will keep you top-of-mind as the coach works on creating their roster.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.
Before Your College Visit:
1. It is important to visit a college while classes are in session. Visiting a college without students on campus is a visit to see a bunch of beautiful buildings. The best way to get a feel for the campus vibe is to plan your visit while the current students are at school. Of course, if you need to return to the campus for an interview or second visit, you can visit over the summer, but for an initial visit, it is best to see a college during a regular semester.
2. Take a few minutes to go through your childs high school calendar and write down all of the days that school is closed between September and May. Although work and life schedules can be complicated, try to schedule a few visits during those weekdays. Your child should also ask a guidance counselor about the school policy and procedure for missing school to go on a college visit or interview. Most high schools allow for, at least, a few absences in the junior and senior year for college visits.
3. Make a plan. If you have nearby schools on the list, take day trips. Use longer breaks for schools that are farther away and, obviously, group nearby schools together. If youre planning to drive to school visits and your child has a permit, share the driving. Longer drives are great practice for new drivers and leave plenty of time for bonding and making memories.
Recommended Reading: Softball Recruiting Tips
Reason #: To Learn About The School From Firsthand Sources
If your searches for school info have led down dead ends, then you know that admissions websites dont always have the answers to all your questions. Tour guides will be there to answer any outstanding questions, plus theyll teach you fun facts and history that give you a deeper insight into the college.
Most tour guides are current students who are big fans of the college. Since theyre students, they can give you firsthand knowledge of the student experience. In addition to getting your own questions answered, you can learn from the questions asked by others in the tour group.
Some tours involve an hour or so walk around campus. Others, though, involve a much more involved itinerary. You might be able to sit in on a lecture, meet with admissions officers or a professor, or even arrange to stay overnight in a dorm. That way, youll get tons of personalized guidance and stories from all different perspectives: faculty, administration, and perhaps most importantly, current students.
All of this can serve to fuel your excitement and enthusiasm about a school, which may empower you to produce an even stronger application. On the flip side, it may save you a lot of effort and an application fee if you discover, in the end, that the schools not for you. Either way, clarifying your desires and reasons to attend is key before you apply.
Spark some ideas for any supplemental essays.
How To Make The Most Of Campus Tours
As students enter their junior and senior years of high school, deciding which college to attend is on the forefront of most minds. College visits can be a great way to narrow options, and this guide will help students feel like pros when they walk on campus for the first time. Gain insider tips from our expert and have some of your most common questions answered.
Also Check: How To Test Out Of College Classes
Where Do Students Live
Most campus tours will include a visit to a freshman dorm in order to give prospective students an idea of where they will be living if they choose to attend. While its important to get a tour of a representative freshman dorm, students should also ask questions about housing after freshman year. Do upperclassmen live on campus, too? Or do many moves to off-campus houses or apartments after freshman year?
This information is important, as it allows families to plan for the future. If housing for upperclassmen is not available on campus, families will need to plan for off-campus living expenses, which can include not only rent but also utilities, cable, internet, parking, and more. Find out everything you can about freshmen housing, but also make sure you have a clear picture of what to expect past freshman year in regards to living arrangements.
Try To Sit In On A Class
Information sessions and the subsequent campus tour are essential to a successful college visit, but theres more to the campus than just seeing the landscape. Some schools will allow students to sit in on a class in either a subject of interest or given by a professor of interest as long as they give advance notice. Many schools request that a prospective student arrive at class before it begins, inform the professor, and also require a visiting student to stay for the entirety of the class. This is a great way to get first-hand experience with the classes that you might be taking if you end up attending.
Recommended Reading: Going To College While In The Air Force
Stay In The Dorms Overnight
While it wasnt often an option during the COVID-19 pandemic, some schools have programs that allow prospective students to stay in the dorms overnight.
These programs are a great way to get a taste of college life, as well as to hang out with current students and get their perspective. If such a program is available, its sure to help you figure out whether the school would be a good fit for you.
Contact The Admission Office
You can sign up for a college admission visit by calling the admission office. All colleges have a campus visit coordinator who answers the phone and schedules your visit. Most of these individuals are super friendly and welcoming!
You can also visit the colleges website to set up your visit. However, I encourage you to resist the temptation to do that. Know that if you register online, you cant discuss every intricacy of your visit, particularly really specific requests.
Don’t Miss: Berkeley College Price
Top Questions For College Visits
1) On average, how many classes do first year students take? What are the support systems in place to help them with the academic transition to college?
2) When are academic advisors assigned to first year students? Would they be in the department of my intended major? How often will I meet with them?
3) Do professors teach first year classes, or TAs? Do they hold office hours every week?
4) What words would you use to describe the campus culture?
5) What kind of student thrives best on this campus?
6) What is one piece of advice you would give an incoming first year student at your college or university?
7) What is your favorite tradition at this college/university?
8 ) What do you think students here find surprising or unexpected when they start their first year here?
9) How easy or hard is it to get the classes you want each semester?
10) What resources do you have for students if they are struggling with a class? Is there a tutoring center? Is it included in tuition, or are there extra fees to use it?
11) Do you guarantee housing for first year students? If not, do you help first year students find housing off campus?
12) What would you say is the biggest challenge on your campus?
13) How often do alumni come back and get involved in helping current students find internships and jobs?
Check Out Social Media
Social media isnt just for keeping up with your friends it can also be a valuable way to learn more about the schools you are considering from a different vantage point. In addition to keeping tabs on campus-wide feeds and profiles, be sure to check out accounts dedicated to your specific interests and passions. Consider following accounts for majors you are interested in as well as specialized programs that relate to your passions.
Recommended Reading: Colleges That Take 2.5 Gpa
How Does An Official Visit Work
Depending on the sport and division level, athletes can begin taking official visits junior year. A coach may extend an official visit offer to recruits during a phone call, email, text or direct message. Once a coach invites you, grab your family schedule and work out a weekend to take the trip.
While receiving an invite does indicate you are at the top of a coachs recruiting list, it doesnt mean youve locked in your spot just yet. This means the coach will be evaluating you during your entire official visit. Most importantly, visits are a great way for coaches to get a better understanding of your personality and character. They want to see if you are a recruit who will be a positive asset to their team and the school.
To learn more, check out our video on how to schedule your visits, where NCSA recruiting experts share what you can expect. This includes what travel expenses might be covered by the program, activities that coaches use to introduce you to the team and campus, and what coaches expect from recruits during a visit.
Insider Tip: Coaches will look at how you interact with your parentsare you respectful, courteous and kind? Or, do you brush them off and behave rudely? Do you answer the coaches questions thoughtfully or do you give one-word responses? While it may be intimidating to visit a college campus and get evaluated by the coaches throughout, its important to make an effort to put your best foot forward.