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Opportunity Scholars

College Visits

Hillary TeagueBy Hillary Teague

Assistant Director of Admission and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment
Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI

As a high school student in the midst of your college search, you're probably being inundated with emails, phone calls and beautiful brochures from colleges. With all of these amazing, picturesque colleges from which to choose, how do you find the one that is actually the best fit for you?

Go on a visit!

Every school offers slightly different types of campus visits. Some common campus visit options are:

Tour/Interview/Information Session: The interview is mutually beneficial, giving you and the Admission Counselor a chance to know one another. If individual interviews aren't offered, sign up for an information session. Tours are usually student-led.

Open House: Open houses usually include a tour, an admission presentation and usually a meal on campus. Open Houses are great if you're early in your college search and you want a general view of the college.

Extended Personal Visit: Individualized visits can include going to a class, meeting with professors and/or coaches, a tour and interview, sampling the cuisine in the dining hall, and an overnight on campus. Take advantage of this opportunity if available, as you get to be a student for a day!

"Fly-In" Program: Sometimes this is synonymous with "Multicultural Program." Usually colleges will pay part or all of your fare to their campus for a program which likely consists of an overnight stay, tour, interview or information session, meals, a class visit and various other activities. If you are concerned about the costs of visiting colleges, "fly-in" programs can save you some money.

When visiting campus, remember these
few guidelines:

Be timely. Things happen, people get lost, but try to be as timely as possible for all of your appointments. If you're running late, call the Admission Office.

Be courteous and attentive. Saying "please" and "thank you" goes a long way. Turn your cell phones to silent. Stay awake. Generally show that you are excited and appreciative of the chance to visit.

Come prepared. Make a list of questions about the college to ask while you're there. This is your chance to take it all in and learn everything you can about the college.

Listen to your gut. The most important thing about the campus visit is the feeling you get when you're there. If you get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, you just may have found your college!

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calendarmy to do list:


Freshman Year:

Talk to former students from you high school who are home during the holiday break. They will be able to give you firsthand information about college life.

Now would be a great time to start talking to your parents/guardians about saving up for college. Set a goal for the amount of money you'd like to save for college. Discuss with your parents/guardians options that will allow you to meet your goal.

Student Group
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College Visit Advice from the Bloggers:


Illinois Wesleyan University

St. Peters, MO

"Before your visit, contact your admissions counselor and discuss what you specifically want to see and ask about other unique features the campus offers."

Read Ashley's full post


Williams College

Jensen Beach, FL

"There may be some schools you visit that don't quite seem to fit your needs and that's okay, You have to find a school with a personality that fits your own."

Read Lysa's full post


Harvard University

Los Angeles, CA

"No matter how much you read and research about a college, no matter how much you think about it, visiting is the best way to know. There are some things you can't measure in a college guide."

Read Khadijah's full post


Harvard University

San Diego, CA

"I highly, highly recommend you visit the school's campus. Not only do you get to visit the campus and get a feel for it, you can potentially meet future classmates and friends!"

Watch Jesse's full post

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College Week Live

Attend CollegeWeekLive Fall on Nov. 2nd & 3rd from 10AM - 10PM EDT for two days that will drastically streamline the college search process for high school students! Don't miss presentations on choosing the right school, Financial aid, Scholarships, Survival tips for freshman, How to write an outstanding essay, Help with test prep, and more! Check out our two $5,000 Scholarships up for grabs! Also, be sure to visit CSO's virtual booth!

CollegeWeekLive Fall!

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Student Raising Hand

Have a question about the college search or admission process? Check out the expert articles in Ask the Experts posted on CSO College Center for the insight you need or pose your own question.
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As a leader and expert in college access and success for first-generation college and other traditionally underserved students, Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization bridging the divide between leading institutions of higher education and those who most need college guidance, preparation and admissions assistance.
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