Informal campus visits are casual “walk-arounds” in which you and your parents walk unescorted throughout a college campus to see buildings and facilities, observe student interactions with one another, ask questions to college students, and leave a visitation card/form with the admissions office. Your observations and impressions of each college should be noted for future reference.
Below is a condensed list of recommended tasks for informal campus visits.
1. Search and select seven to ten colleges/universities to visit.
2. Your parents should plan to accompany you on campus visits. Parents can observe campus features from a different perspective and can help note the uniqueness of each college. They also can help by sharing their impressions of each campus and by discussing your impressions.
Review your family’s schedule and decide on several visitation days available to both you and your parents. Preferably, your campus visits should be on normal school days .
3. If you visit college campuses during the school year, follow your high school’s guidelines for missing classes in order to visit colleges.
4. Make travel arrangements. This includes making airline reservations (if needed), making hotel and rental car reservations, obtaining driving directions to each college you will visit, and adjusting your schedule to visit multiple colleges during your trip.
5. Print helpful documents (Campus Visit Checklist, Campus Visit Summary Sheet, and a website campus map) and gather helpful items to take with you on campus visits.
6. Make copies of your grade transcripts and student résumé. It’s a good idea to have copies of your transcripts and résumé with you during campus visits in case the opportunity presents itself to share them to college representatives. Handing these documents to college representatives will make a very positive impression.
7. Travel to college campuses. Review printed campus maps to locate parking lots.
8. Tour campuses on your own. Review the Campus Visit Checklist for the variety of places to see and things to do during campus visits.
9. Visit the admissions office and fill out a brief student information card/form. Each college should know you visited their campus (visiting a campus demonstrates your interest in that college – an important factor for getting accepted for admission). Collect brochures and other information.
10. Drive through areas surrounding each campus as you leave. Note your impressions of areas immediately adjacent to each campus.
11. Complete the Campus Visit Summary Sheet immediately after each campus visit. Talk over your impressions and feelings with your parents.
12. Place notes and other information gathered during campus visits into the proper folders in your paper filing system for future reference.