I’ve recently had a number of prospects/applicants tell me that they were planning to visit campus, and that they would like to meet with me. That got me thinking about a blog post, and sharing my thoughts about visiting campus. In my opinion the number one mistake when visiting campus is just showing up, without any prior coordination. It always makes me cringe when a student tells me they visited campus, and upon further discussion they tell me they just showed up and wandered around campus “to get a feel for the school”. That is not the way to visit a campus.
Here is what I recommend for a student visiting Clarkson, and what I expect most other campuses offer. Contact Admissions and schedule a visit. When you do that at Clarkson they will schedule you for an admissions interview, they will set up a tour for you, and they will ask if you want to meet with faculty, coaches, or ROTC cadre. In my case when admissions calls they will tell me that they have a student visiting that would like to meet with Army ROTC. We determine when I can come to admissions to meet with the student, and I am added to the visiting students itinerary.
What are the advantages of scheduling your visit with admissions? The biggest advantage is that admissions is now tracking that you have visited the campus, and that you are serious about the school. In the case of Clarkson your visit is annotated in their prospect management system, and they know you’ve been here. They also make sure you have met the requirement to have an admissions interview. They may also annotate the fact that you have met with others on campus like ROTC cadre, an athletic coach, or one of the faculty .
I won’t get into all the other helpful hints about visiting a campus. You can google the subject and get plenty of advice about “seeing a dorm room” or “stopping by the library” or “going on a weekday”. All good tips, but not my topic today.
The bottom line is visiting the campus is going to be your best shot at determining whether spending the next 4 (or more) years at that school will be a good fit for you. Don’t waste the opportunity to get the full effect.