The Importance of College Visits


Yale University is just one of the many colleges Oakdale students are visiting

Carolyn Frost and Kiley King, Writer

With spring and summer break approaching fast, it’s time for high school students across the nation to go on college visits. There are many steps students can take to prepare while getting ready to make one of the most monumental decisions of their lives so far.


Visiting a college in person is a great way to get more information on it, and to see if it is a good fit. It is also an opportunity to talk to some of the students and staff there, and get a more complete feel of the school.


“College visits are crucial, as a few of the schools I hadn’t given a second thought to turned out to be my favorites after a quick tour,” explained senior Julia Hotaling.


Before leaving for the visit, a student should go to the school’s website and sign up for a guided tour.  They should try to sign up in advance, since many book up very quickly, especially those at larger universities.


“On guided tours, normally you sit in on an information session for about a half hour, then a current student shows you around the campus. Sometimes, they show you the dorms – if they’re any good,¨ said senior Gabby Crosby.


Visitors should also be prepared to ask students and teachers various questions that may not be answered on the college’s website or within the information they hand out.  Questions such as how often do TAs teach classes, what are midterms and finals like, and how accessible are professors are all good examples.


“The major questions I had were about opportunities outside of campus, you have to do work for for your major, and about the study abroad program,” stated senior Michaela Zocchi.


“There is nothing that is not important to ask about the school,” Crosby added.  “You want to have a complete idea of it before you decide to attend.”


Sometimes it is not possible to visit a campus due to its location or because of a tight schedule. Alternatives to not going on a college visit can include going on virtual tours on a school’s website, watching videos online, or emailing a current student.


Since college is where students will spend the next few years of their lives, it is important that it feels like home. Going on a college visit is the best way to determine how one feels.  Don’t be afraid to listen to gut feelings, and have fun on upcoming visits!