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13 College Visits in 8 days

As a college consultant I always enjoy the opportunity to check out various college campuses. This past week I literally have been on thirteen college campuses in eight days. Two visits were to watch my daughter compete on her college soccer team but the other 11 were part of a tour offered by the New Hampshire College & University Council. The tour was attended by approximately 25 independent education consultants and guidance counselors from all over the country. This was an opportunity to not only visit college campuses but network and talk shop, a great resource for us all. We walked the various college campuses, spoke to admissions officers, listened to the college presidents, ate in cafeterias, spoke to panels of college students and even shadowed classes. There are some things that are universal to all campuses and yet each campus has its own special offerings and culture, a personality so to speak. There are opportunities out there for all types of students so do your research. Do you like the great outdoors, a smaller number of students and a more rural campus, or is a large city with a college campus that is integrated into its surroundings more for you? Do you want Greek life, or do you prefer a campus with the absence of fraternities and sororities, or somewhere in between? Are you a cooperative learner or a more individual competitive type? Before you choose your home for the next four years, visit. Ask yourself these questions and consider multiple variables that will be important to you.What is the cost to attend? Will you get aid or merit scholarship? Most of all, make sure a college or university offers the college major or program that you are interested in. If you plan to go undecided that is okay too, just ask yourself what majors you might be considering. Are you looking for a hands on experience? Do you want a liberal arts curriculum or something more specific such as a pre-professional program? Take a few personality and interest surveys, then see if the colleges on your list have the variety of offerings that you might be considering. There is certainly enough to think about and it can be overwhelming but it can also be fun if you do some investigation up front and don't wait until the last minute. Once you start visiting campuses and asking the questions you will be surprised at how quickly your opinion will start to form. Ask your guidance counselors or an independent college consultant like myself about campuses we have visited. Check out tours on line if you can't get to a campus. Good luck and get out there and visit! Happy college shopping!

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