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How to Get the Most Out of a College Open House

October tends to be the month for Open Houses on college campuses.  What makes an Open House different from a typical college visit?  Well, colleges tend to pull out all the stops for their Open Houses.  It is not only a great opportunity to meet with admissions officers, but also faculty, coaches, administrators and students who will all venture to campus for this weekend event.  If you are planning on attending a few Open Houses this fall, it is always best to check the colleges’ websites for details, but here are few general tips:

Make sure to RSVP. As with any event with the admission process, you want to get credit for going!  This will show that you have genuine interest in the college.

Get there early. Some Open Houses can be very crowded.  You want to get there early so you can make sure you know where you are supposed to go.  Also, you want to get your hands on the schedule for the day so you can figure out what programs you want to attend.  Some programs may fill up, so you will need to prioritize.

Do your research.  Make sure you know ahead of time what you are interested in learning more about, that way when you get there, you can easily figure out who you need to talk to and ask intelligent questions.  Also, ask the same question to several different people.  It will be interesting to see how a faculty member and a student each feel about certain topics.

Find out what type of program will be offered. Some schools will offer a very structure program where you are asked to choose between different session offerings.  Other schools will have a more “open” program where you can wonder around campus and check things out at your own pace.

Wear comfortable shoes! From campus tours to traveling between sessions, you will do a lot of walking at an Open House!

Katherine Price

Former Open House Planner

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