College Visits

Juniors have the option of visiting college campuses over spring break or on Saturdays. Please take advantage of the spring season to visit at least two or three colleges.
  • Best time of year: spring of the junior year; summer; fall of the senior year.
  • Contact the college: be sure to call the Admission Office to make arrangements and if you are scheduling an interview, call well in advance of the date that you want. Some schools give campus tours followed by small group information sessions; others give tours and individual interviews.
  • Scheduling visits: keep in mind that it is best to schedule no more than two schools per day.
  • Weekday visits versus weekends: if you want to see the daily routine, weekday visits are preferable; if you want to check out the social life, weekends are illuminating. In the fall, many admission offices are open on Saturday mornings for tours and interviews. However, it is easier to contact faculty or coaches on weekdays. Open House programs are often available in April.
  • Items to take to an interview: sometimes admission counselors like to see your high school transcript, standardized test scores and activity sheet. If you have a small folder with these items, then you will be prepared for that request. In most cases, counselors want to talk with you about areas that are not on your record. They will see the high school information in your application.
  • Distance and directions: be sure to go on the Internet to obtain accurate directions and a good sense of how much time it will take to reach the campus. If you are running late, be courteous and call the admission office to let them know when you expect to arrive.
  • Overnight accommodations: students often spend the night in a dormitory with friends or students who are part of the college’s host program. Parents will need to make reservations at local hotels.
  • Attire: dress very neatly and be comfortable. In warm weather males do not need to wear a tie; in cool weather a tie and sweater or sport coat are appropriate. Females may choose an attractive dress, skirt and blouse or slacks and jacket; do not wear high heels or uncomfortable shoes since you will be walking around the campus. The goal is to project a positive, confident, clean appearance; avoid sneakers, tight or sloppy clothing, hats, and suggestive attire.
  • Be well informed about the school before you visit: read the view book, profile and related information; be sure to visit the web site so that you know the basic information. You want to impress the admission office with your general knowledge of the institution.
During the visit
  • Talk with people: introduce yourself to students and faculty. Go to the student center and discuss daily life with students at the next table. Inquire about what they like and dislike and ask the tough question – if they had it to do again, would they make the same decision.
  • Visit the dormitory, student center, bookstore, classrooms, library, computer facilities, gym and recreational/fitness facilities. Observe the general condition of the campus and assess the upkeep of buildings and grounds. Inquire about campus security. Drive around the community surrounding the campus to assess the cultural life and accessibility to public transportation.
  • Read the campus newspaper, social calendar and information/bulletin boards: get a sense of who comes to campus and what is available for entertainment and weekend social life. Listen to the college’s radio station.
  • Don't make your decision on a school based solely on the tour and guide!
  • Don't let bad weather color your decision!

Merle Smith Campus

Downtown Campus