College visits are a big part of the college application process. It’s necessary to go to a college campus and experience it for yourself. Of course, it’s important to remember that college visits are an orchestrated marketing of the college, put on by the college, but it’s important to experience the school firsthand nonetheless.
College visits are most valuable because they demonstrate interest. Whenever you visit a college, sign up for a tour, or email the school, it goes into your file. The more proactive you are, the more that you’ve demonstrated interest, the better. Your admissions readers will surely take that into account.
To set up a tour, you just need to go their website. We’ll take you step-by-step through signing up for a tour of Wesleyan.
Typically once you’re on the homepage, the “Visit” section is under the “Admissions” dropdown menu of the website:
Then, once you’re on that page it will detail how to sign up for/register for a tour and information session.
In this case, Wesleyan makes it very easy to visit a class. For other schools, you will have to do a bit of research to find out some classes that are going on while you’re there. You might need to pick up the phone and call the admissions office. Don’t be scared.
Then, click through to the Tours & Information Sessions. Click on the schedule to see when they are giving upcoming tours and such.
And then from there you can select a date that works for you, and you can register.
Boom. You’re done. Now that your tour is all set, make sure that you do your research and get your questions together. Maybe even email a professor to set up a meeting or see if you can sit in on a class. And definitely print out our College Visit Notepad and take notes while you’re there. Lots of notes.
We get a lot of questions about tours vs. information sessions. In all honesty, information sessions are a regurgitation of what’s on the website so you won’t necessarily learn anything, but there is absolutely value in acquiring information in a condensed format. So truly whatever works best for you. If you feel like the tour is incomplete without the info session, go for it. Totally your call. The tour is the most important part. You can ask any questions you need to on it as well.
Alternatively, if you happen to be driving by a college, you can almost always give the admissions office a quick call and drop in for a tour. Or at least call them and see if they are giving any tours that day. If they are not, more often than not they have a flyer that details a “DIY Tour” with a route and all of the spots on campus to check out, as well as a blurb about them. Here are a few from Berkeley, Harvard, University of Maryland, UCLA, and Bard.
Ultimately, you probably won’t learn anything life changing on your tour but it’s crucial to go. Think of your tour as doing your due diligence. It’s important to get to campus and walk around. It’s also important for your file. Let us know if you have any questions or need help planning your college visits.