If you’re a high school junior, it’s time to start planning college visits. Whether you’re making a trip across the country to look at schools in better weather, or just taking the long weekend to visit a few schools within driving distance, there’s no better way to get a sense of the college experience than by being on campus.
1. Set a goal
I like to tell my students that the goal of this first round of visits isn’t to determine whether a specific school will make your list or not. Instead, you should be taking notes about the qualities of the schools you visit. What kinds of programs attract your interest? What offerings sound cool to you? How would you describe the vibe that most resonates with what you want out of the college experience? Do you have clear preferences for size or location? In short, if you were to cobble together an ideal college experience from among the campuses you’ve visited, what would it look like? What would you borrow from all the institutions you’ve already seen? What are your drivers and deal-breakers?