If you plan to attend university, you have perhaps scheduled a campus tour or two to begin exploring collegiate life in person. These experiences are important, as they allow you to interact with current students, pose questions, and begin to make the academic and social adjustments needed for higher education. Embarking on a campus tour is a fantastic way to determine whether a particular school is a positive fit for you—but it is also your opportunity to stand out from other candidates.
This may seem obvious, but researching a college or university before you arrive is advantageous. Knowing a school’s enrollment, major achievements, and even its mascot will distinguish you from less prepared individuals.
Admissions officers love students who are proactive about scheduling their own tours, knowledgeable about the college or university, and punctual. Also ensure you dress professionally. These are the top ten tips for college campus visits.
Collect business cards or contact information from everyone who helps you—you will want to send thank you cards when you return home. You will remain in their minds, and your gratitude will not go unnoticed.
2. Ask questions
If you have done some basic research on the school, you will also be able to ask better questions on your campus tour. It is okay to inquire about anything—academics, community, student life. But demonstrate some familiarity with the college or university, and be appropriate.
You can also make a good impression by taking notes. Obviously, you have asked a question because the answer is important to you. Note-taking shows you are serious, and it will also allow you to compare schools later in your decision-making process. You may also want to check out these 6 things to look for on a college tour.
It is a wonderful idea to be an active participant in the campus tour—before, during, and after. Scheduling your own visit shows your interest and independence, asking questions demonstrates your ability to assimilate into the school’s environment—but what should you do after?
Utilize what you have learned on the college tour to make appointments with others on campus. The admissions office is an excellent place to begin, as they will be able to put a face to your application after meeting you. You can also ask admissions representatives questions and again foster a good impression.
Consider meeting with a professor or department chair in the major you are interested in. He or she can provide specific, helpful advice. Plus, you will have a connection if you choose to attend that school. Here are a few top questions to ask at a campus information session that may be useful to you.
You can also sit in on a class, speak with students, attend a sporting event, or participate in a club meeting to show your interest and help you make your decision.
4. Write an elevator speech
Finally, compose an “elevator speech” for the meetings you will attend. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it refers to a one-minute speech you give by way of introduction—as though you were simply sharing in an elevator and had very little time.
Your speech should address your interest in the college and a possible major (no one expects you to commit to a subject 100%). It should also be compelling and memorable, though you should avoid rambling.
Above all, make a good impression and leave them hoping that you will return as a student!