Finding the Right Fit III: Researching Schools

How do we learn more about different colleges and universities? We research them using multiple resources. Here are some to the most common and useful:

Mailing Lists: Most colleges and universities offer mailing lists for students to subscribe to and receive information about the school, including visiting opportunities, information sessions about admission, and resources for applicants. Do sign up for the mailing lists of schools you are interested in to ensure that you don’t miss important information and updates about the admissions process.

Online: Every school will maintain a website which will contain information about their campus, educational system, student life, and application process. This should be your first stop in the college search process. School websites contain basic details about classes, majors, and professors. For your time out of class, websites will usually offer information about student organizations, school traditions, and campus life. The internet offers additional opportunities to engage with a school, including email contact information for the admissions office, the ability to schedule campus tours or visits online and social media.

Visiting Campus: The best way to get to know a school is by visiting. Of course, not everyone will be able to visit a school on the other side of the country or the world, but if it’s not too difficult for you, visiting a college lets you see students who study there, what the campus looks like, how easy it is to get to class, and gives you an opportunity to visualize yourself as a student on that campus. When you visit a college campus, keep in mind that a lot of facilities, like dorms, dining halls, athletic facilities, and research labs, may not be open to the general public. You should take a campus tour, meet with current students, and hear admissions counselors present information about the school. 

Sometimes colleges will offer special programs with even more opportunities to learn about different aspects of the school. In addition to the campus tour and information session, many schools will offer panels with current students or professors, a chance to tour additional facilities, or special sessions on specific aspects of the application process or life on that campus. When scheduling your visit, it’s always a good idea to ask if there are any special visit days coming up or a recommended time to visit.

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