By Samuel Bekker ‘17
As summer lurks around the corner, the brainstorming process for college visits begins.
“All colleges look good online because they hire professional photographers to take beautiful pictures. Students need to take a tour and really experience the community firsthand,” said Mrs. Marisa Koeppel.
When a student visits a college, the student should pay close attention to a multitude of things, such as the size of the campus, the size of the school, and the safety outside of the campus.
One crucial detail that is commonly overlooked is the time of year that a student should select to visit a college. Most students choose to visit colleges in the summer.
Although the summer seems like a perfect time to look at colleges, colleges are not as full of students in the summer as they are during the school year and a student won’t be able to grasp the full college experience in the summer. Thus, the best time for a student to visit a college is any time between August and May.
Also, students should look at the size of the campus. If the campus is enormous, it may become difficult for the student to travel across the campus, which can be an inconvenience for some people. On the other hand, a small campus can make the student feel uncomfortable.
“Before I visited Rutgers University, I thought the college was perfect for me. After I visited, however, I realized that Rutgers University made me feel uncomfortable. The campus was too big and I would need to take the bus to travel around the campus,” said Tyra Mendieta ’16.
In addition, students should take the dormitories into consideration. If a student decides to live on campus, the student should feel comfortable with the room and where they will be sleeping.
Students should visit the library and recreational center. If the library and recreational center don’t accommodate the student appropriately, the student may feel miserable.
During a college visit, students should visit some classes. Students will spend a lot of their time in class, so it is essential that the quality of the classes satisfy their preferences.
“During my visit to Drexel University, I visited the classes and I was impressed with the professors. The professors were not boring and were very funny. The professors knew how to make connections with the students, so it made the class very interesting and engaging. This is one of the many reasons why I chose to apply to Drexel University,” said Anna Lam ’16.
According to http://www.usnews.com/education, students should examine the student newspaper. The student newspaper could give a student some extra information regarding campus safety, campus issues for students, and what students care about.
One of the most important things that a student should look at is how the college makes the student feel. If the college makes the student feel like they are at home, the student found the perfect fit.
“My visit to Hunter College was interesting. The school looked very nice from the outside and modern on the inside. What greatly influenced my decision was the atmosphere of the school. The atmosphere was amazingly welcoming and the students were very friendly,” said Linda Zhu ’16. “ The atmosphere is what made me want to apply to Hunter.”
Visiting colleges can become difficult for some people, but following the suggestions above can help narrow down the list of colleges that a student wants to apply to.