Open House Preparation: How to Get the Most from Your Campus Visit

Open houses, like campus tours, provide you with an opportunity to get information to decide whether or not to apply to a college. In a single visit, you can gather knowledge and impressions to aide you in your final college selection. But how can you make the most out of your visit? Simply by being prepared. Here are some tidbits to keep in mind the next time you attend a college open house:

Why Attend in the First Place?

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Sometimes, the hardest part of picking a college is narrowing down your “top choices” list. Attending a college open house can make picking the right school a lot easier. Apart from this, other reasons to show up include getting a good feel for the campus atmosphere and learning more about the specific program you’re interested in. Here are reasons to attend.

What to Prepare For

It’s important to realize that college open house events are not an example of an everyday campus experience. However, this doesn’t mean that programs are not genuine, just that they are not typical. Expect the following:

  • Interviews Aren’t Guaranteed- At a campus where interviews are highly encouraged, you most likely will not have an opportunity to interview on the day of an open house. You will need to revisit campus later. However, the college may decide to offer regional interviews close to you.
  • Colleges Make a List and Check it Twice- Colleges monitor who visits their campus and who does not. This means that scheduling a campus visit or attending an open house may offer more benefits to students who takes extra initiative to scope out the campus.
  • Each Open House is Unique- Every open house you attend will possess similar features. You can expect to hear from the teaching staff, support staff, as well as current students. Most colleges have the day’s programs outlined online in advance. Identify the subject matter you find most important and follow up with the appropriate resources at the open house.
  • Welcome, Welcome, Welcome– Expect a warm welcome from everyone on campus. Staff members will be available and prepared to answer questions from you and your family, so be sure to bring them!
  • Network to Expand Your Web- There will be a lot of prospective students attending college open house, making it a great opportunity to interact. Connections made at the open house could become helpful to you in the future.

Questions to Ask

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Talk to more than just the admission staff. Seek a number of students during your tour and ask them what they like and would change about their school. To get the best experience from your visit, prepare thoughtful questions to ask. Here are some examples:

  • What academic elements are considered in the admission process and how important are they?
  • Is it easy for students to do research with a professor?
  • What percentage of my financial need does the school meet?
  • What are my chances of landing internship opportunities and jobs?
  • What social opportunities are available to students?

More questions here.

Have fun at every open house you attend. Take some time beforehand to prepare and the day of, you’ll be able obtain all the information you need to help decide if that college deserves the top spot in your college line up!

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