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How to Make the Most of Campus Visits

Campus visits are essential in the college application process. They can help you feel (rather than view/read), what it’s like to study, live and play, on a specific college campus. This is particularly important to understand whether you fit it socially, and whether you can comfortably call a place home for four years. To get the most out of your campus visit, this article shares a few considerations to keep in mind.

Things to Do Before, During and After Your Campus Visit

To maximize your in-person experience, remember to:

Plan Ahead

Before stepping foot on campus, it is crucial to plan your visit thoroughly. Research the college's website, learn about their academic programs, campus facilities, extracurricular activities, support services, and any other aspects that interest you. Make a list of questions you want to ask during your tour, whether they pertain to specific majors, housing options, or the campus community. A well-prepared student is more likely to have a productive and engaging experience during the visit.

Attend Information Sessions

Most colleges offer information sessions for prospective students and families. These sessions are valuable opportunities to learn more about the institution's values, admission requirements, financial aid, and the overall student experience. Attending these sessions will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the college and help you gather important information to inform your decision-making process. Perhaps there are college/major/program-specific information sessions you can attend as well.

Take a Guided Campus Tour

One of the highlights of any college visit is the guided campus tour. This tour allows you to explore the campus, get a sense of the student atmosphere, and envision yourself as part of the community. Pay attention to the tour guide's insights and ask questions along the way. They can provide valuable information about student life, traditions, and the college's unique aspects. Take note of the buildings, residence halls, and facilities, and envision yourself spending time in those spaces.

Engage with Current Students

Take advantage of opportunities to interact with current students. Whether it be through formal sessions, during a class visit, or simply during your meal in the dining hall, don't be shy! It is important you have candid conversations with individuals who are current college students. Ask all the questions--favorite classes, why they chose that school, most popular hang out spots on-campus and around town, etc. These interactions will give you a realistic perspective and help you understand if the college is the right fit for you.

Explore Academic and Support Services

Apart from the physical aspects of the campus, it's important to explore the academic and support services offered by the college. Visit department buildings related to your intended major, and if possible, meet with professors or advisors to discuss the curriculum and any research or internship opportunities. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the resources available for academic support, career services, mental health, accessibility/disability services and extracurricular involvement. A supportive and well-rounded environment is vital for your success and personal growth in college.

Immerse Yourself in the Campus Culture

Soak up every moment. Visit the student union, dining facilities, libraries, recreational areas and religious/identity-specific centers/clubs (if relevant). Pay attention to the general ambiance and observe the students' interactions. Attend a class or two, and gain a glimpse into the teaching style and student participation. By immersing yourself, you can determine if the college resonates with your values and offers an environment in which you can thrive.

Optional: Request/Schedule an Interview

Some schools have the option to interview with an admissions staff member. While most schools do not offer this option, if this is available, definitely plan ahead and schedule your interview! This is your opportunity to share why you love their school, while also showing your curiosity and interest. Come prepared with questions to ask and make sure you send a thank you note once you get home.

Send Thank You Notes

If you had an opportunity to speak 1:1 with an admissions officer, faculty or a student, remember to ask for their email at the end of your conversation, and follow-up with a personalized note to thank them for their time. These notes are always well-received, and perhaps even could make the difference in your chances for admissions.

Download Rose College Prep's Campus Visit Guide

Rose College Prep's Campus Visit Guide (here) is a complete guide to visiting college campuses--filled with questions to ask students, admissions officers and faculty, and has a template to help you remember what you learned during your visit. Also included: visit tips for students who identify with LGBTQ+, students who are seeking disability services and students who have autism.

Have More Questions?

Reach out to Sami Greenberg, Founder of Rose College Prep, at, or schedule a free 30-minute consultation here.

Sami has worked with students since she graduated college in 2010, helping them through the full college application process---including career search, college list selection and essay writing. She truly loves working with students, making sure their best selves are identified and articulated to college campuses.

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