Many students get a jump start in the college selection process. One example is a high school sophomore who just e-mailed me about her upcoming visit to campus. Being ahead of schedule and making an early campus visit is a great idea—you’ll get to see where the campus is located within the city/area, get a feel for who goes to school there, and learn about all of the opportunities that this particular college or university offers. If you like what you see and want to know more, keep that school on your list. You’ll always have the chance to revisit the same school in the upcoming years to see if it remains a top choice for you and to be certain that all of your questions are answered.
On the other hand, there are many students who wait until later in the process and then realize that they need to make time to see the schools that top their college lists. This might happen during senior year of high school and often becomes a matter of trying to find time in a busy schedule. But remember that it’s worthwhile and will likely help you decide where you will enroll. I always share with students and parents that you don’t buy a car without test driving it, so why wouldn’t you make sure to visit at least your top three college choices before finalizing?
Sophomore or senior—make sure you visit a campus and ideally, visit again. For students who visit early in their high school career, things will change at that school over time. The physical appearance of the campus, the deadlines/requirements in the application process, and your feelings about whether or not it is a real ‘fit’ for you are just a few of the things that may change. With this in mind, I encourage you to visit the schools on your short list again if it has been more than a year since your last visit.
For seniors, you may have visited by going on a tour and/or attending an information session. But now is the prime time to meet with an admission or financial aid counselor, attend an admitted student event such as an overnight program, or make sure you are on the list for the larger spring programs. These spring programs are especially important as universities typically invite admitted students and their families to campus to meet with faculty, staff, students, alumni and more. Here at Loyola, this event is called Loyola Weekend and it is coming up April 6-7. We hope to see you there and we can’t wait to meet the students of Loyola’s Class of 2017!