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What to Expect from a College Visit: Why are they Important?

Brennah Lee and Kate Harwood, Staff Writers

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As the third quarter starts for the LCPS system, it’s now the time for high school juniors and seniors start considering the colleges and majors they’ll choose. One of the ways to narrow their college and university options is through a college visit.

“The three Fs can help you create the most effective college visit experience, Fit, Finances, and Future” Ms. Heather Jolly, Career Center Assistant, said. “Fit is if it feels right, a college should feel like your best friend, comfortable. Finances are what you can afford. Future is what programs they have and what their students do after graduation.”

When visiting possible college or university options, it is recommended to get a campus tour, and sit in on a class preferably in the major of the interested student. Talking to the students already on campus is also said to be very beneficial.

“It’s a good idea to go back to the college before you make any final decision. Once you’ve been accepted, you should go back a final time and maybe go to an accepted student day, make sure you can see yourself there” Ms. Jolly said.

“You get more of a feel of the college when you visit them. It’s also a great opportunity to talk with the people who actually read your applications so you can ask them questions.” Ms. Jolly said. “When the colleges come here, they tell you all about their programs, and it’s easier when you don’t have to travel all the way to the college.”

College visits can also help narrow down a student’s list of choices through the three Fs, but location and the distance from the possible admittees home is also an important factor in the college decision process.

“JMU has been very popular; I think we had the most students of any Virginia school apply there. Virginia Tech and CNU are also very popular,” Ms. Jolly said.

It is difficult to describe what each individual’s ‘perfect college’ will feel like. “I encourage a student to get a fit or feel for a college” Principal Matt Wilburn said. “It’s experiencing the culture; it’s experiencing the environment and talking about the support systems there.”

A college choice is a personal choice. While taking other people’s opinions can help, it is important to make sure that the choice made will fit the individual. “A lot of people will pick a college based on the opinion of a friend or academic reputation, but remember that you will spend four years there, you’ll live there” Mr. Wilburn said.

“It’s a good idea to go back to the college before you make any final decision. Once you’ve been accepted, you should go back a final time and maybe go to an accepted student day, make sure you can see yourself there” Ms. Jolly said.

It is also recommended that students consider the college’s sophomore retention rate and their four-year graduate rates.

Official visitation days also provide more of a realistic scenario of the college experience in comparison to when the admissions officers come to the high school, though they both have benefits.

“You get more of a feel of the college when you visit them. It’s also a great opportunity to talk with the people who actually read your applications so you can ask them questions.” Ms. Jolly said. “When the colleges come here, they tell you all about their programs, and it’s easier when you don’t have to travel all the way to the college.”

Ms. Jolly is available in the career center in room 125 for any questions relating to colleges, majors, and career options.

Other tips to look into during a college visitation include going on a normal school day when it’s less crowded, exploring the campus after the tour, spending time off campus nearby, and photographing everything to make easier comparisons to other colleges. Schedules can be used to maximize limited time at the colleges as well.

“College should help you find a successful career and become a successful adult” Mr. Wilburn said. “Students should consider the benefits of a college or university depending on their career choice and find out what the payback is.

 

College Visits: What to Expect:

Colleges:

  1. James Madison University
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. University of Virginia
  4. William & Mary
  5. University of Mary Washington
  6. Christopher Newport University
  7. NOVA Community College
  8. Virginia Military Institute
  9. George Mason University
  10. VCU
  11. University of South Carolina
  12. Penn State
  13. University of West Virginia
  14. Longwood University

 

 

James Madison University: Click here to schedule a visit

JMU offers daily tours, information sessions, and host many events for future students.

 

Virginia Tech: Click here to schedule a visit

  • High School Spring Break- April 10-21 2017. The VT admissions officers and tours will extend hours for students on spring break. They find it crucial to attend an information session.
  • Hokie Preview: Junior Open House: Saturday March 18, 2017. This event will be held to teach future Hokies about the college and the admissions process.

 

University of Virginia: Click here to schedule a visit

*UVA offers specific tours for some of their various programs like The School of Architecture, The McIntire School of Commerce, The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and The School of Nursing

 

William & Mary: Click here to schedule a visit

William & Mary offer tours, visitation hours, Shadow a Student, STEM Panel, and a Fine Arts Panel, with also Informations Sessions and Tours.

 

 

University of Mary Washington: Click here to schedule a visit

Mary Washington offers tours and visitation hours, Shadow a Student, Group Tours, and Interviews with the admissions office.

 

Christopher Newport University: Click here to schedule a visit

Christopher Newport offers Campus Tours, Open Houses, President’s Leadership and Honor’s Visit Days, Group Visits, and Overnight Visits.

 

NOVA Community College: Click here to schedule a visit

NOVA offers campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield, Woodbridge, and Reston.

 

Virginia Military Institute: Click here to schedule a visit

VMI offers Open Houses, Group Tours, Tours and Information Sessions, and Personal Interviews.

 

 

George Mason University: Click here to schedule a visit

George Mason offers tours at their Fairfax Campus for Information Sessions, Honors College, Group Tours, High School Seniors, Open Houses, and offers Information Sessions for Transfer Students.

 

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU): Click here to schedule a visit

VCU offers tours, Information sessions, self-guided tours, Group Visits, and Departmental Information Sessions.

 

Longwood University: Click here to schedule a visit

Longwood offers Calendar of Events, Tours, and Information Sessions.

 

University of South Carolina: Click here to schedule a visit

USC offers tours, Information Sessions, and help with hotel booking. They also offer Summer Sessions for upcoming Seniors.

 

Penn State: Click here to schedule a visit

Penn State offers tours and events at it’s 20 campuses including University Park, Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Shenango, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington Scranton, York, and World Campus (Online).

 

University of West Virginia: Click here to schedule a visit

West Virginia offers Tours and Information Sessions at its Morgantown campus.

The student news site of Stone Bridge High School
What to Expect from a College Visit: Why are they Important?