With April approaching, high school seniors across the country and the world are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their fat envelopes. It’s an annual ritual where they will rush home from school to stalk the mailman with the hope that an admissions offer, usually packaged in a fat envelope, is in the mailbox. With tremendous trepidation and consternation, they know that the size of the envelope matters!
While having multiple fat envelopes is excellent, the challenge, however, is how do you decide among them. What metrics would you use to help you and your family to decide? The obvious metric is quality. Are the schools of similar caliber? If so, there’s no better way to help you to make an informed decision than to visit them during admitted student program weekend, week, or month. They intend to woo you, impress you with the hope that you will choose to enroll there.
To make the most of your visit, be intentional about what you want to see and experience. Don’t just go for a campus tour. But take advantage of the following:
• Contact the school to see if you can stay overnight with a current student. Doing so will allow you to experience the residential aspect of a college and enable you to immerse yourself in their culture and community in which you hope to join.
• To gain insight into their teaching, visit a couple of classes. Observe the interaction between students and faculty and ask yourself if this type of engagement suits your learning style.
• Talk with students in your intended major. Gain some perspectives on the academic demand of the major and ask them what they like most about what they’re studying and what they least like about it.
Together, the information you learn from attending an admitted student program can go a long way to helping you decide which school is of great academic and personal fit for you. Remember, you’ll be there for at least four years, so you will want to pick a school in which you’ll be happy to live, learn and grow.