Many people consider a campus visit the most important way a student will decide whether or not the campus is a good fit. There is so much that a student can learn while visiting a campus that cannot be obtained from a campus website or print publication. Upon experiencing a campus, a student may think “This is the place for me!” or “I don’t want to be here.” Either way, those feelings are very important to the decision about whether or not to attend the campus.
The UW HELP staff wants to throw our two cents into the discussion about things students should do—or ask about—on a campus visit. Perhaps most important is to visit the campus when classes are in session, so that the student can get a real flavor for what the campus is like. Here are other tips from our staff.
Take home a campus newspaper. Read the articles and the ads to get an idea of the campus culture.
Talk to students. Find out what surprised them (in good and bad ways) when they first started at that college. What do they like and dislike?
Do most students go home on weekends?
What do students do for fun on weekends?
What are the chances that you will have early classes, evening classes, or Friday classes?
Where are the best places to study?
Eat a meal on campus to sample the cuisine.
Talk to a faculty member in your area of interest.
If speaking to a student tour guide, ask, “What do you wish you had asked when you went on a campus tour?”
How long does it take to walk from one end of campus to the other? Are you comfortable with that?
When seeing a residence hall room, ask whether an incoming freshman would typically have a room like that one.