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Can I meet with professors or current students during my campus visit?

Many colleges offer opportunities to meet with professors, sit in on classes, or talk to current students. Check with the admissions office to schedule these experiences.

What should I ask during a campus tour?

Ask about academics, extracurricular opportunities, campus life, support services, housing options, and any other aspects important to you. Don’t hesitate to ask your tour guide about their personal experiences as well.

Note to self: Link to blog post about the topic.

Do I need to schedule campus tours in advance?

While some colleges offer walk-in tours, it’s recommended to schedule in advance, especially for tours during peak times like spring and fall.

When should I take campus tours?

You can schedule campus tours at any point during your time in high school. Most teens, schedule tours during your junior or senior year but the earlier you start, the more time and flexibility you have to look at different campuses and gauge university atmospheres.

Best times to visit can be during the school year and July/August. Avoid visiting during university holidays and finals. 

Are campus visits necessary before applying?

While not mandatory, visiting campuses can provide valuable insights into campus life, facilities, and culture. With that said, if you do not have the time, resources, or interest in checking out a university’s campus, then check the university’s social media pages and attend virtual tours & info sessions. 

How many colleges should I apply to?

Aim for a balanced list of 8-12 colleges, including a mix of reach, match, and safety schools. Make sure you have at least 4 Safety schools on your list (acceptance rate >50%).

What are reach, match, and safety schools?

Reach schools are more selective, match universities are likely to admit you, and safety schools are where your credentials exceed requirements.

Think of it this way, the acceptance for: 

Reach = <20%
Target = 20-50%
Safety = > 50%

The Reach, Safety, Target is common approach used to help students create their college lists, just be aware of
how many of the universities you apply to fall in each. Ideally, aim for at least 4 Safety schools. 

What is the best website or college search engine to help me start my college search?

College Board’s Big Future Search is free and has 1,000+ universities that students can filter through. If your high school offers Naviance or a similar software program, I’d recommend using that to get data – acceptances, rejections, waitlists per university – specific to your high school.

How do I start my college search?

Begin by listing your preferences such as location, size, majors, and campus culture. Use online tools to research colleges that match your criteria. 

Think about the type of college experience you want to have, and if you have zero idea, then tour some of the local universities, attend information sessions at your high school or community, and attend virtual info sessions hosted by universities. These resources are all free and can help you get an idea of what you may o