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The Ultimate College Visit Checklist

A group of students walking and laughing

Visiting college campuses can be an exciting way to begin envisioning yourself there. You may not be able to visit every college on your list and, for whatever reason, you may find yourself on a trip to a college that you were never that interested in. Regardless of the sentiment behind your visit, we recommend that you attend a few college tours so that you can start to develop a sense about what you appreciate about a campus environment. If possible, say “yes” to every opportunity you get to explore a college campus. Even if you know right away that you’re not interested, you may learn something new about yourself that can inform your choice. Uprooted Academy is here to support you in the process and provide you with a list of ways to make the most of your visits.

1. Start Planning Early.

The College Board advocates for planning college visits as soon as the spring of junior year. It can be helpful to work on your college list prior to mapping out your visits, so that you can target the schools you are most interested in attending and compare and contrast. Many folks choose to plan college tours during spring break or over the summer. This means that campus tours and information sessions can fill up fast, especially around key holidays. You will also want to consider scheduling your visit when classes are in session, for example in the fall, so that you can get a realistic view of campus life.

2. Know What to Expect.

In the world of Covid, preparation is more important than ever before. Check and see if the school you are visiting has a Covid policy in order to take the steps to meet the requirements. If you are driving, look into the parking policy as parking can be challenging on college campuses. It may be helpful to look at a map of the campus to familiarize yourself with where everything is. Additionally, be prepared to walk a lot! Plan an outfit that is appropriate to the weather and comfortable enough to get some steps in.

3. Personalize Your Visit.

Your college experience is yours and yours alone, so make the visits work for you. Check out information regarding sports, clubs, and organizations that you want to learn more about. Visit the dining hall and school gym. If you want to learn more about a particular program at the school, it can be helpful to plan for an additional information session run by that department. Another option is to schedule a visit with a faculty member or shadow a class, if possible. Some campuses even arrange for overnight stays. Planning ahead will help you stay aware of all your options and take advantage of all those that appeal to you.