College & Workforce Readiness

What to Look for When Revisiting a College Campus This Month

By Caralee J. Adams — April 02, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Now that most of the offers for college admission for the fall have been extended, the issue of revisiting campuses comes up. Uncertain students are thinking: Can I visit one more time to be sure? And some parents are thinking: Didn’t we spend last spring break doing this?

If you can swing it, many experts say it’s a good idea to check out the college again before making a commitment. Students look at it through a different lens on a revisit, says Brenda Poznanski, director of guidance at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, N.H., and president-elect of the New England National Association for College Admission Counseling. Academics are likely strong on every campus, so it comes down to the culture of a school. “This time, figure out if you can actually fit in there,” she says.

Eat in the cafeteria. Find out how often you would meet with your adviser. Look into whether you would get home on breaks by car, bus, or train. Pay attention to the housing options and consider if you will be comfortable in a room for four. “These kids are used to having their own rooms, cars, and bathroom. The conveniences of home are very different,” says Poznanski.

If financial aid is an issue, go to the campus office and ask for an appointment. “It’s harder to say no to someone in person,” she says.

Sarah McGinty, an independent educational consultant in Boston and author of “The College Application Essay” published by the College Board, says on a second visit, the student has moved from the supplicant role to someone with up to $200,000 to spend. And it’s time to ask seriously: Is this where I want to spend my money?

All schools have libraries, student centers, and study-abroad programs, but it often comes down to a feeling of whether the campus is somewhere the students can make friends. “It translates into something quite unquantifiable,” she says. “In the end, it’s an emotional decision, not a logical one.”

If on the first visit, it was a bad day because it was raining or there were no students around in the summer, it might be worth another trip, says Tom Delahunt, vice president for admission and student financial planning at Drake University in Des Moines. “You have to live someplace for four years, you need to see the community,” he says.

Yet it can add to the angst to do too much revisiting. Don’t go back just to have another tour. In the end, it’s likely that your final choices are similar and it just comes down to fit. “It’s OK to make a decision based on instincts,” says Delahunt. “There are so many schools and there is more than one school for every student.”

Most colleges offer official accepted-student days in April. These are good chances to talk to lots of people on campuses in a short amount of time, says Poznanski. It also might be the best option during this month because she finds colleges are not as open to individual visits as they used to be. Delahunt says schools are expected to have open houses for newly accepted students, but Drake is trying to create a feeling of a small university, and that can be hard when so many families visit at once.

In any case, counselors encourage students to stay overnight on a revisit to get the best feel for living on a campus. (Parents can stay in a nearby hotel.) Find out what it feels like to sleep in a dorm and where the kids go late night for munchies. Go to a couple of classes. At the end of the visit, ask yourself: Can I see myself being happy and successful here?

(See past blogs on questions to ask on a campus visit and what to know before an overnight stay.)

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Can College-Going Be Less Risky Without Being 'Free'?
Rick Hess speaks with Peter Samuelson, president of Ardeo Education Solutions, about Ardeo's approach to make paying for college less risky.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track?
Three proven strategies can support high school graduation and postsecondary success—during and after the pandemic.
Robert Balfanz
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of students making choices based on guidance.
Viktoria Kurpas/iStock
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion An Economist Explains How to Make College Pay
Rick Hess speaks with Beth Akers about practical advice regarding how to choose a college, what to study, and how to pay for it.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
College & Workforce Readiness What the Research Says College Enrollment Dip Hits Students of Color the Hardest
The pandemic led to a precipitous decline in enrollment for two-year schools, while four-year colleges and universities held steady.
3 min read
Conceptual image of blocks moving forward, and one moving backward.
Marchmeena29/iStock/Getty