School is (almost) out! If you are a junior, or even sophomore, this summer is the perfect time to check out local colleges and universities with your friends and/or family if able. Here’s how to go about it–!

First, What Does Visiting a College Entail?

Campus visits could look like anything from a quick hour to an overnight stay. Most visits will include a formal information session from the admissions office followed by a student-guided campus tour.

At many colleges, you can also specifically ask to do the following:

  • Attend a class.
  • Meet with a professor.
  • Meet with a specific admission officer.
  • Meet with a financial aid officer.
  • Attend a club meeting or a sports practice session.
  • Eat in the dining hall.

Arrange a Visit.

Arranging a visit could entail reaching out to admissions offices (all colleges have one) through their website or a phone call. It could also just mean coordinating an informal visit with the people about which you care and who care about you.

Either way, allow yourself extra time in the schedule to walk around different spots. What are the questions you have for the students? Ask them, as they are immersed in their daily life at their college. They know best what it is like to attend it.

Before You Visit, Prepare.

Get a map of the college campus (online or otherwise) and locate the admissions office, so that you will definitely be on time.

It is crucial to pack a notebook so you can record your impressions without looking like you’re preoccupied on your phone. After visiting a few colleges, the details slip away much more easily than you’d think.

In this notebook, make a list of questions to ask faculty, staff, and/or students. The Campus Visit Checklist is a great resource for beginning to figure out how to ask questions and find the answers you need.

What matters to you about the place where you live, the people with which you interact, for the next 2-4 years? Make pros and cons lists; they can help lead you on your way. But, nothing can better clarify your path than your instincts during that campus visit.