Six Tips for Visiting Colleges

College Days

Visiting students pose with Pioneer Pete, our mascot.

Whether it’s your senior year and you’re in the final decision making process or you’re a sophomore just beginning the college search, one of the most exciting parts of choosing a college is getting to visit different campuses to see which one is the right fit for you. During your college search you’ll likely visit a number of campuses, so before you do, here are a few campus visit tips to make sure you make the most out of your time on a college campus!

1. Register Ahead
If you’re visiting a college during one of their scheduled events (like our College Days), make sure you’ve registered to have your space reserved and confirm your travel plans. If you’re coming for an individual visit with your family or a few friends, always make arrangements with the school’s visit coordinator to have the best experience possible. Our visit coordinator can be reached at visit@puc.edu or at 707.965.6336.

2. Come with Questions and Write Down the Answers
There are many questions you assuredly have about college life. Make sure you don’t waste time by asking questions you can easily find the answer to on your own. Come prepared with a few questions you can only have answered there, such as what campus social life is like or how to get involved in student ministries. It’s a good idea to bring a notebook to write down the answers to your questions, that way you can look back at the answers you received when visiting each school!

3. Talk with a Financial Counselor
These days, the number one factor in choosing a college for a lot of people is finances. Figuring out how you’re going to pay for college is very important and can be an extensive process involving exciting things like W-2s and tax transcripts. When scheduling your visit to a school, always ask about meeting with a financial counselor who can give you advice on how you can make college possible. Visitors to our campus can always set up an appointment with one of our five financial counselors.

4. Talk to Faculty and Students
While you’re on campus, you want to take advantage of every opportunity you have to learn as much as you can. Make sure you set up an appointment with a professor in the department of your academic interest. You should also try to go out of your way to speak to professors and students you happen to encounter during your visit. It can be very beneficial to get perspectives about a school from many different people, and to get this information firsthand.

5. Eat in the Cafeteria
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to eat? If you think a school’s cafeteria isn’t an important factor in your college decision, you’re mistaken! If possible, plan to have a meal there when visiting. This is also an excellent time to meet some current students!

6. Explore Nearby Areas
While you’re on campus, take some time to explore as much of it as you can – walk around and look at everything it has to offer you. You should also try to visit different areas nearby. Stop in some local shops and check out the restaurants. This is the area you’ll call home for nine months out of every year for the next four years, so getting acquainted with the local life is a definite must!

As I write this post, I have my planner open with a giant checklist of things to complete before our first College Days event, which is coming up very soon! These events are offered four times a year and give high school students a chance to spend some quality time on our campus. Students will sit in on real classes, visit with professors and current students, and experience a little piece of college life. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, go to http://www.puc.edu/visit to learn more and you can also register if you want to attend. Our College Days events are offered on the following dates:

October 19-20, 2014
November 2-3, 2014
February 12-15, 2015
April 9-12, 2015

You can also learn more about scheduling an individual visit to our campus using the above link.

If you can’t visit, don’t worry! It’s nearly impossible to physically visit every school you’re interested in and we won’t take it personally if you can’t make it out to our campus (well… we might). Although there is nothing better than firsthand experiences, you can learn a lot about campus life, academics, and much more on our Admissions website, including a virtual tour offering with many photos of our beautiful campus.

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