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Recent Articles >> Community



Getting the Most out of a Campus Visit
10/28/2012

Getting the Most out of a Campus Visit

(NAPS)-If you are a high school student or a parent of one, and you're trying to decide on where to attend college, be sure to get on campus and visit top choices and a variety of school types.
Experts report that visiting a school can give you a close-up look; a chance to learn about the course work and experience a school's environment before you make a commitment.
To get the most out of the visit, here are some suggestions from the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education-Sallie Mae:
* Investigate different kinds of schools. For instance, visit both a large and small school or a campus in an urban setting and then a campus in a small town. If you can't visit in person, see if the school offers virtual tours.
* Do some prep work. Before your visit, decide what you want to learn about the school and put together a list of questions. Use the same list for every school so you can make fair comparisons.
* Visit while classes are in session. This is the best time to visit schools because you'll get the feel of the campus while students are walking around. Most counselors suggest scheduling visits from March through late April of your junior year in high school or in the fall of your senior year.
* Plan ahead. Call the admissions office to arrange your visit at least two weeks in advance. See if you can sit in on a class or two and schedule interviews with faculty and admissions staff. Meet with admissions staff to verify admission requirements and to discuss costs and financial aid.
* Get the most out of your visit. If the school offers an escorted tour, take advantage of it. You'll get access to more of the campus, and your escort can be a great source of candid information. The same goes for information sessions, if offered.
* Ask questions. Be sure to talk to students, the faculty and the admissions staff. Ask students what they like best and least; ask them what they'd change.
* Trust your instincts and take notes. Pay attention to how you feel, especially your first impressions. Is this where you want to live for four years?
* Follow up. After you visit a college, remember to send thank-you notes to everyone you met with. It's a little courtesy that will help get you noticed.
To learn more, check out websites designed to help you plan for college, such as Sallie Mae's www.CollegeAnswer.com.

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