Winter is finally beginning to melt away and telltale signs of spring are in the air. For many families, weekends this season will be spent touring different college and university campuses with their soon-to-be high school graduates. While setting foot on campus is exciting, it can be a little intimidating, especially if you and your student aren’t entirely sure what to look for.
Five Things to Check Out During a College Visit
While this first one seems pretty obvious, many students are a little surprised to find out just how much the academic program at one school can differ from that of another. If possible, you and your student should get your hands on the school’s course schedule. This will provide information on what course are offered, how often classes typically meet and whether they’re held in-person or online, prerequisites and corequisites and any additional fees associated with courses. If possible, try to sit in on at least a couple classes, particularly those required by your student’s intended major.
While you are on your college visit It’s always a good idea to visit the school’s library and ask to check out the stacks. Make note of how much study space is available, if there’s a good selection of reference materials and whether there’s a computer lab. It’s also helpful to know what hours the library is open, and whether those hours are extended during mid-terms and finals.
While academics are the primary focus, the school’s extracurriculars are also important. Depending on your student’s interests, you might want to ask an admissions counselor what types of recreational sports leagues, student government opportunities, arts programs and multicultural activities are available. Not only do they provide your student with a built-in support system, but they’re helpful in allowing them to explore interests, learning time management skills and developing professional skills that the classroom alone cannot always foster.
If your student will be living away from home, then it’s important to determine what their housing options are during the school year. Find out what types of dorms or apartments are located on-campus and arrange for a tour. It’s a good idea to find out how many people share rooms or apartments, how many bathrooms there are and what kitchen and laundry amenities are available. If your student will have a vehicle on campus, ask about the parking situation. If they’re planning to live off-campus, find out how many apartments are close by, what monthly rent typically looks like and how quickly they reach maximum occupancy.
If you’re going to be touring college campuses with your student this spring, putting together a college visit checklist is a simple way to determine how well different schools fit your child’s academic goals. Keeping these five things at the forefront of your mind during your visit can help your student feel more confident in their final decision.
Give Your Student a Gift They’ll Love
Whether your student is staying close to home or they’re attending a university across the country, a Soundwave Art canvas, print, aluminum or wood piece makes the perfect graduation gift. Each piece is completely customizable and 100% unique, and most are compatible with our Soundwave Art mobile app. Choose from one of our pre-designed music Soundwave Art pieces or create your own with a meaningful message.