Do: visit the campus
When junior year rolls around, it’s time to start thinking about colleges. From Ivy League universities to community colleges, there is a wide variety of schools to choose from. The best way to see which one is the perfect fit for you is to visit these campuses. Touring a school allows a potential student to see how their life could turn out if they applied, and whether or not they would be comfortable with the size and location of the campus. Without visiting the school beforehand, the college students chose out of the blue may leave them feeling homesick and wishing for a transfer. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
The internet can only show so much, and it’s a completely different experience seeing a school in real life than just looking at the pictures on their website. It’s difficult to get a feel for the campus through a computer screen, and questions can’t be fully answered by sending emails. If you don’t want to go somewhere local, not only do you have to know your way around the campus, but you need to know your way around the city too. Students’ questions can be answered on a college tour: all students need to do is ask the tour guide and get an immediate response without the hassle of writing a formal email and waiting days for a response. Important things to ask about are the average class sizes, dorm space and what the meal plan is like. According to College Board, “A visit gives you the chance to talk to students, faculty, and financial aid and admission officers.”
The campus is only half of the equation, as where you live is an important factor as well. After all, students will be spending a lot of their time in their room. It’s best to tour the dorms, see if they are the right fit for students, and think about joining a fraternity or sorority.
Unless you plan your college visits on Jewish holidays or other instances where college classes are held but high school classes aren’t, you will be forced to miss school. You would need to decide if the visit would be worth it, depending on how many quizzes and tests you would need to make up on that given day. Luckily, the school accounts for this, allowing three excused absences as a junior during the second semester, and five as a senior.
Without college visits, it’s much harder for students to find their dream schools. When they find their perfect match, it’s hard for them to imagine going anywhere else.
Touring a campus allows for students to see whether or not they would consider attending a school. Whether it be the first school you visit or the tenth, it’s important to find the school that is the right fit for you.
Don’t: rely on in-school reps
During lunches or class periods, representatives talk about their universities in the auditorium or college and career center. This is becoming a major distraction and problem for all seniors.
Seniors are missing class time because they feel obligated to go to these meetings to learn more information on the college that they are interested in attending. These students could just look up all of this information online and not have to miss any class. Senior Ben Bloch said, “I went to one college meeting and I had to miss a quiz that I needed to make up for lunch. I usually spend my lunches with friends or doing other work. It just added more stress in my life.”
These meetings are pointless because hearing facts about the college can only do so much, Students should visit the actual college to get a real college experience. Senior Antonia Roach said, “When I visited South Carolina I learned all of the information that I needed to know and I got a college experience first hand.”
College is the main priority for seniors, but first quarter grades play a huge role in whether or not seniors get into the schools that they would like to attend. These college meetings add stress and seniors grades will drop as a result of these college
These college meetings only add more stress to these seniors lives by overwhelming them with facts and expectations that stress students out to the point to where they are only thinking about college during class time. Senior Brooke Simon said, “I can never focus in the period after my meeting because I am too focused on whether or not I have a chance to get into that specific college.”
Most students don’t realize that these college meetings have no impact on whether or not students get into the school. Unlike these meetings, if you go on a real campus tour, the college will find out and will know that you went out of your way to show interest and they will take that into consideration when viewing your application. Senior Matthew Kaddu said, “I don’t want to waste my time going to these meetings because it adds extra stress for no point. These meetings have no purpose and they just waste my time when I could be learning students in class and improving my grades in school.”