By Carlos Navarrete - The Regis School
Deciding which college to attend is a huge choice for many seniors. Students must choose where they want to spend the next four formative years of their lives and what kind of experience they want. Below are tips every Regis underclassmen needs to know:
Make it Count: Register for a Visit
Before you even visit the college you must register for a visit. This is done so that colleges can determine how many people to expect and how to best accommodate them. On the day of your scheduled college visit, plan to arrive at least an hour before in case anything randomly pops up. It is also wise to do this so you can get to the campus early, allowing you to roam around and see everything without a tour guide. Admissions officers actually check these lists when you apply so make sure to register.
Don't Waste Your Time on the Tour
Next, while being guided by a tour guide, ask all the questions that the school’s website cannot answer. This can range anywhere from “What is done to make freshman more comfortable?” to “What does the food taste like?”. Many times the tour guides will be more than willing to answer any question. In the occasional situation where the tour guide does not answer your question, ask a student on campus that is not a tour guide. Students tend to give completely honest opinions about the myriad, minor inner workings of their respective schools and thus are invaluable resources for questions. Also, ask questions about what you plan to do on campus. This can range from extracurriculars you know you want to get involved in to activities you might want to start.
Spend Time to Get the Insider's Perspective
Lastly, after your college tour ends, revisit things that caught your eye or that were not mentioned on your campus tour. Visit some academic buildings that you think you might spend time in if you are accepted into the college. Also, try and visit dorms if you can. More often than not, colleges will not let you into dorms but in the rare case that you do get the opportunity, check them out.
Keep Notes, Seriously
When you’re finished with the tour, write down your thoughts on the college. While much of a college tour experience may seem intangible and while the simple aura of a school can carry a lot of weight in the selection process, try to nail down the tangible, real reasons why you love that school. You will be surprised at how much you forget. In doing so, you eliminate the risk of mixing up schools (trust me, after visiting over ten schools, they will begin to blur together in your mind) and you allow yourself to truly determine which factors cause you to like one school over another.