College Planning - Campus Visits
Interested in knowing how to schedule a college visit, what to do, and how to get the most out of your time on campus? Follow these links for more information.
How to request a college leave at Heritage Academy
Seniors are allowed (2) excused college visit days and juniors are allowed (2). Students who find that they need more than their allotted day(s) may request special permission from the Guidance Counselor and/or Headmaster for additional college leaves. Approval and paperwork for all college leaves must be completed in the Counseling Office at least a week prior to the scheduled absence. Sophomores and freshmen are not granted official college leaves through the Counseling Office.
How to schedule your campus visit
- Call the Admissions Office.
- Check the Admissions web site to see if they have an online campus visit request form.
What to schedule while you are on campus
It’s entirely up to the student as to what opportunities he/she wishes to take advantage of during the college visit. Below is a list of opportunities that many colleges afford to help introduce students to their collegiate community:
- Information session and campus tour
- Class visit
- Overnight stay in dorms
- Meeting with a professor or coach
- Portfolio review or audition
What to ask admissions officers
- How many full-time undergraduate students attend the college/university?
- How diverse is the student body (gender, race, religion, etc.)?
- Is there a career center on campus? If so, what services are available & who can use it?
- In your opinion, is the campus safe? Is the surrounding area safe?
- What precautions has the university taken to ensure the safety of the students?
- Is there a Student Health Services Center & Infirmary on campus?
- What is the average class size? What is the range (smallest & largest class taught)?
- What are considered to be the strongest academic departments/majors/ programs?
- What are the most popular majors?
- What is the core curriculum for undergraduate students?
- What kinds of courses are available to freshmen?
- When do students have to declare a major?
- Are students allowed to take classes outside their major?
- How easy is it to do a second major or a minor? How easy is it to change your major?
- Do professors or teaching assistants teach classes?
- What is the workload like? What is the typical amount of homework?
- Can undergraduate students work with professors on research projects? If so, when?
- Are computers available to students, and if so, how accessible are they?
- Do students need to have their own computer? If so, what kind?
- Are there study abroad opportunities? If so, where?
- What is the retention rate from freshman to sophomore year?
- What is the four-year graduation rate?
- What is the main reason that students leave the institution?
Applications & Admissions:
- How do I apply for admission (on-line, paper, Common Application, etc.)?
- When are applications due (Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision)?
- Does the application for admission serve as the scholarship application? Is there a separate application for scholarships?
- What are the admission requirements?
- What are the average SAT & ACT scores of students who are admitted?
- Do you require SAT II exams? If so, how many and which ones?
- Do you require a portfolio, audition, etc. for admission?
- What is your policy on accepting AP credit?
What to ask current students:
- What other colleges did you apply to and why did you decide to come here?
- What’s the weather like?
- Is public transportation easily accessible to campus? Do you recommend using it?
- Are there churches in within walking distance of campus?
- How safe is the area around the campus? How safe is the campus?
- How large are all of your classes? What is the student to faculty ratio?
- How accessible are your professors? Are classes taught by professors or graduate assistants?
- Does this school have a core curriculum? What are the required classes?
- What is the advising program like?
- How adequate is the library? How adequate are the computer facilities?
- When do you have to declare your major? What are the most popular majors? Can I create my own major? Is it easy to change majors? What if I am undecided?
- Are some dorms much better than others? Are dorm rooms wired? Do many students live off campus? If so, why?
- How competitive is the student body? What is the attitude towards working hard?
- Have you been in any faculty homes since you’ve been here? How available are your professors?
- What’s the biggest issue on campus right now? What are the big issues in national or international politics in the eyes of the students? Are students politically active?
- What percentage of students study abroad at some time?
- What impact do fraternities have here? Athletics?
- What are weekends like? Are there alternatives to the typical party scene? Do students stay on campus or go home?
- How active is student government? What activities are popular?
- Are the arts supported here? Are the courses oversubscribed? Which areas are strong?
- What would you change about the school? What do you love about it?
- Where do students come from? Is this a diverse community? What is the male/female ratio?
- What kinds of kids do you think are happiest here? Which ones are least happy?
How responsive is the school to student needs and concerns? Are there adequate support systems?
Helpful hints to the get the most out of your visit:
- Do not schedule more than two schools per day. Give yourself ample time to roam the campus before or after the interview.
- BE PUNCTUAL! Make sure that you have given yourself a cushion of time to accommodate any missed turns, traffic jams, or foul weather.
- If, despite your best efforts, you are still going to be late, call the admissions office to inform them of your situation.
- Be flexible. Schools may not be able to accommodate your ideal schedule, but with some adjustments you should be able to see all the campuses you hope to see.
- Because the campus visit can play an important part in the admissions decision, particularly at smaller schools like Millsaps, Middlebury, Elon, Centre, Rhodes, or Davidson, be sure the school makes a record of your visit.
- Take pictures & to capture the campus and its facilities.
- Be sure to note the name of the admission officer you meet and take note of whether that counselor is the representative for the college. (REMEMBER TO WRITE A THANK YOU LETTER!) That person may well become your first point of communication with the school as you continue your search.
- While visiting, keep in mind that you are interviewing the college as much as it is interviewing you. Do not be afraid to probe, but, at the same time, remember that you also describe yourself by the questions you ask. Be thoughtful and articulate.
- Pick up a copy of the student newspaper & read it to discover the hot campus issues.
- Scan the bulletin boards and kiosks for announcements and messages; these sorts of communications reveal a great deal about the tone of the school.
- Talk with students on your own, without parents and without the folks from admissions offices; you will get more candid answers. The way you are received will also give some indication of the friendliness of the community.
- Visit the dorms. Sample the food in the cafeteria. Are the students respectful of the school and its facilities? Does the menu have a variety of offerings? Can you live comfortably there?
- Be aware of walking distance on campus. Is the campus easy to get around? Is the campus centrally located or spread out? Are there shuttles to transport you around campus?
- Explore the layout of the campus and the accessibility of the campus to the surrounding town.