No one should buy a product without examining it thoroughly! Investing two or four years of your life and thousands of dollars in the process needs careful consideration. Students need to visit prospective colleges since choosing one is a very individual decision and only you, the student, can evaluate how comfortable you feel on the campus and if this particular institution can help you to reach your goals.
Colleges encourage visits by prospective students and their parents. They prefer that you visit on weekdays, while classes are in session. But, more and more, they are beginning to understand that some visitors can only come on weekends, or during school vacations, and they are providing for such arrangements. It is advisable to notify the college in advance of intended visits. You should contact the Admissions Office for a brief chat with the director or an admissions counselor to arrange the details.
When visiting a college, prospective students should tour the campus, looking into laboratory facilities, libraries, residence halls, dining halls, student union and gymnasium/athletic facilities. It is very valuable, when possible, to spend time in class and after class to discuss courses with students and faculty.
Steps in planning your college visitation
- Read the college catalogue in advance. Get the facts, such as size of institution, major programs of study, admissions requirements, and extra-curricular activities available.
- Locate colleges in the same area; visit no more than two colleges per day. Plan to stay for about 2.5 to 3 hours on each campus.
- Bring an unofficial transcript with you from the Guidance Office. Make arrangements to have an interview on campus with an admissions counselor, if possible.
- Check with the Guidance Office before your visit to learn if any Troy High Alumni/ae are in attendance at the prospective college. You may want to discuss with them their impressions and experiences.
The following are some questions you should consider asking while you are on campus
- What are the typical college costs for one full year of study?
- What are the specific requirements for your major?
- What percent of students take your intended major?
- What placement services are available for graduates?
- What percentage of the graduates are accepted into professional schools (i. e., law, medical, dental)?
- Can courses be taken at local colleges?
- What financial aid opportunities exist?
- How large are the classes? Faculty-Student ratio?
- Who teaches freshmen? Professors or graduate assistants?
- Must you declare your major immediately?
- What special services are available? (i. e., counseling, tutorial assistance)
- What clubs and extracurricular activities are available?
- Read the campus newspaper as a means of finding out what the issues are on the campus during your visit. Check the boards in the student union or cafeteria.
REMEMBER TO GET A COLLEGE VISITATION SHEET FROM THE GUIDANCE OFFICE 2 -3 DAYS BEFORE YOU PLAN TO LEAVE. THIS WILL MAKE YOUR ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL LEGAL.