It’s easy to learn important facts and statistics about a school online, but visiting the campus gives applicants the true experience of being a student. If you’re able to visit any of the schools
you’re considering attending, it’s a great
opportunity to explore the campus
and neighborhood, meet students and
professors, check out the dorms and
possibly even sit in on a class.
Of course, with so much to see and do,
it’s important to go into a visit prepared,
so you’re able to fully take advantage
of the tour. Natalie Yingling, associate
director of admissions at Westminster
College, and Morgan Rizzardi, associate
director of admissions at Butler County
Community College, offer tips on how to
get the most out of your campus visit.
There are a number of factors to
consider when planning your campus
visit. How many schools should you see?
When’s the best time to go? Should you
schedule a group or private tour?
Both Yingling and Rizzardi recommend
visiting multiple campuses. Yingling
suggests seeing five and Rizzardi
encourages students to visit at least two
or three for comparison purposes.
They also suggest checking them out
sooner rather than later.
“Plan to visit campuses as early as your
sophomore or junior year of high school
to allow ample time to make an informed
decision,” says Rizzardi.
“The sooner you visit campus, the more
opportunities you have for a return visit to
take a closer look,” says Yingling.
As for the type of tour, both group and
private have their benefits, says Yingling.
“If it’s an initial look at the school,
a group visit is a great way to get
acquainted with a campus. If [you] are
looking to have more of a personalized
visit, a private tour is the way to go.”
“There is truly value in both types
of tours. Oftentimes, group tours pair
students interested in a certain academic
discipline and allow them to get an in-
depth look at curriculum, technology [or]
They also recommend you do your
homework beforehand by checking
out the school’s website, social media
channels, videos and blogs.
“Make a list of questions ahead of time
to ask the admissions counselor, as we are
always impressed by that,” says Rizzardi.
There’s a lot to take in during a campus
visit, so Yingling suggests taking notes to
help you remember everything.
She also encourages students to “be
open” and ask plenty of questions.
“The student tour guides often get
questions about the food, weekend life
on campus and how they personally like
attending the college,” she says.
“It’s O.K. to ask the simple questions on
a campus tour, such as ‘Where do students
hang out in between classes or go to find
quiet study space?’ or ‘Where can I grab
a bite to eat, coffee or work out?” says
Rizzardi. “These are the type of questions
that may not be addressed formally in an
admissions presentation or appointment,
but are important to your success.”
You should also do whatever you can
to get a real sense of life on campus, says
“Sit in on a college class, stay overnight
in the residence halls or meet with a
faculty member, if possible.”
Once you’ve finished touring campuses,
you’ll likely have a better sense of schools
you can really see yourself attending.
“Visiting campus is the best way to find
out if a school is a good fit,” says Yingling.
“Oftentimes, the campus visit can be
the deciding factor when it comes to
making a college decision,” says Rizzardi.
“The ultimate goal is to be comfortable
with your environment and decision to
attend that institution.”
If you’re still unsure, though, you can
always schedule another round of visits.
Having visited a campus once already,
you’ll have an even better sense of the
spots you want to see and the questions
Waynesburg University’s Roberts
Chapel, dedicated in 2011, provides
a place for students, faculty and
staff to join together in worship and