The importance of campus visits in your college search

October 06, 2022

An undergraduate student gives a tour of campus to a prospective student and family

Planning for college involves many steps, from making a list of schools you’re interested in to filling out applications, writing admissions essays, getting acceptance letters and making a final decision. Perhaps one of the most important — and exciting — steps you’ll take before you decide which college to attend is planning campus visits.  

Here’s a closer look at the importance of planning college visits, plus some tips to help you make the most of your trips. 

Why are college visits important? 

Visiting different campuses is an essential step in your college search process. Not only will it help you become familiar with the colleges you’re most interested in, but it will also help you get a better understanding of what types of schools are the best fit for your unique needs. 

For example, after touring a college in a large city, you might decide that you’d prefer to live in a suburban area instead. Or, you might visit a small college only to realize that you enjoy institutions with a larger student body. In either case, touring a variety of schools will help you hone in on the qualities that matter to you most. 

With this insight, you’ll be able clarify what you’re looking for in a college, as well as decide which institutions are aligned with your goals and needs, and decide which schools to apply to and ultimately enroll at. 

When to Do College Visits & Tours 

Once you begin to seriously consider your options for college, you can get started scheduling your visits. Many students find that they are ready to begin touring colleges throughout their junior and senior years of high school.  

In general, students and families find it most convenient to tour colleges during the summer or other breaks from school and work. However, it can also be highly beneficial to schedule tours while classes are in session. This will give you a better sense of the atmosphere, energy, and day-to-day life on campus. Additionally, you may even get the chance to sit in on a class that interests you.  

As you get closer to making your final decision, it can also be helpful to schedule an additional visit to your top choice schools. Spending this extra time on campus can give you a better understanding of which environment feels best to you, and help you make your decision of which college to ultimately attend.  

Tips to Get the Most Out of College Visits 

College visits can sometimes feel intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Use these four tips to help you get the most value out of each visit. 

Plan Ahead

When thinking about which colleges you’d like to visit, it’s a good idea to plan ahead in order to get the most value out of your trip. For instance, if you plan to visit a college a considerable distance away from your home, you should consider visiting other schools in the area at the same time. Similarly, if you already have a trip planned for vacation or another reason, it could be a great opportunity to add a college tour to your itinerary.  

Before you make travel plans, you should also be sure to check the school’s calendar to see if there are any admissions events that you’d like to attend, such as an open house or in-person info formation session. These events are designed for prospective students like yourself and are a great way to get to know more about the school community. 

If you’re unsure which colleges you’d ultimately like to visit in person, many schools offer virtual tours to give you a closer look at the campus before you commit to making travel plans. 

Ask Questions

One of the best ways to make the most of your college visits is to be proactive about asking questions. Remember — choosing a college is a big decision, and no question is off limits! The admissions team and faculty members are there to help guide you toward achieving your long-term goals and are available to answer any questions you have about how their institution will help you do so.  

Some questions you might ask include: 

  • What makes the institution unique? 

  • What student clubs and organizations are available on campus? 

  • How do staff and faculty support students in the program of interest?

  • What’s the best part of being a member of the respective institution's community? 

  • What are the freshman dorms like? 

  • What are the biggest things first-year students have to look forward to at the respective institution? 

Make Connections

Once you find yourself on campus, you’ll have many opportunities to make connections within the school community. Not only will this be helpful in gathering information about the school, but you’ll also get a chance to begin building meaningful relationships who can offer support throughout your college process.  

Take advantage of opportunities to speak with faculty members within your program of interest, your admissions counselor or other members of the admissions team, and current students or student ambassadors.  

Explore the Surrounding Area

With each college visit you plan, it’s also a good idea to set some time aside to explore the surrounding area outside of campus. After all, whichever college you choose to attend is where you’ll likely be spending most of your time for the next few years, so it’s important to know all that the area offers both on campus and beyond. 

For example, when you tour Quinnipiac’s campus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore our academic buildings, recreation facilities, gorgeous quad and more. But, with just a short drive from campus, you can also go hiking at Sleeping Giant Mountain, have dinner at famous New Haven pizzerias, or explore other hobbies and interests in neighboring towns.  

Getting Started

College campus visits are fun, exciting opportunities to explore your options. Spending time on campus is an important step in narrowing down your shortlist of college and deciding which school to ultimately attend, so it’s key to plan your trip in advance to get the most out of each visit. Be sure to enjoy this time and get a taste of college life while also taking advantage of everything these visits have to offer. 

Are you planning a visit to Quinnipiac? Check out our upcoming admissions events or schedule an in-person tour to get started. In the meantime, take a virtual tour to get a glimpse inside Bobcat nation. 

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