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Asking Right Questions of Unsuspecting People

When visiting a college campus, it is often difficult to get a straight answer from people in the admissions office about student life. So if you really want to learn what students are like, you need to ask random people, like the people working the counters at the cafes and bookstores. Ask them about whether students are intellectually serious or more interested in partying. You'll often get a straight answer from people who really have no vested interest in giving you the "party line." So if you want the straight scoop about a college campus, ask the right questions of unsuspecting people. You'll be surprised how much you can learn.

Campus Visits–Don’t Mind the Weather

Bad weather can affect our moods. But it should not affect our visit to a college. A campus visit is a time to learn about the people--and to ignore the weather.

The Dos and Don’ts of Successful Campus Visit For Parents and Students

As you plan the general goals of your campus visits, plan the logistics, take the tour, listen to the information session, and investigate the campus surroundings, keep in mind these few tips for making the visit as productive, successful, and fun as possible. Parents: Don’t ask too many questions, either in the information session or […]

The Campus Visit–Considering A College’s Surroundings

Previous articles in this series on visiting college campuses have focused on some general tips, practicalities, the official campus tour, and the admissions information session. When touring a campus, it’s important to remember that in choosing a college you are also choosing the community in which the college or university exists.  So make time during […]

Admissions Offices and the Campus Visit

The Information Session is an integral part of the campus visit experience.  In essence, this is the “dog and pony show” of the admissions office.  Each college runs these a bit differently.  Sometimes you’ll have to sit through a slick marketing video (which is probably available off the college’s website, too).  Sometimes, a student panel […]

The Campus Tour–the Centerpiece of the College Visit

The campus tour and official information session are the focal point of any campus visit.  But it’s important to remember that a lot of thought (and money) has gone into creating a wonderful experience for the visiting family (there are even consulting groups that do nothing but advise college admissions directors on how to improve […]

Planning the Visit to a College Campus: The Practicalities

Planning a good college visit takes some time and thought.  The visit is an opportunity for you to gather information that will help you in making an extraordinarily important decision:  which college will you attend?  You need to carefully consider your goals.  What questions do you want answered?  What facilities will mean the most to […]

College Visits: Remember Three Important Features

When I visit college and university campuses, I try to search for a few distinguishing features that will help me remember what makes this particular institution stand out from its peers.  Often I will start by asking admissions counselors–who are, after all, in the business of marketing–what they see as the three most important things […]

University of San Francisco: Jesuit, Urban, and Diverse

I visited the University of San Francisco last week.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, but the wind was brisk.  Despite the chill in late April, I was able to get a good introduction to the campus and is programs. 1.    First off, USF is an urban campus.  It is located in the heart of […]