Visiting colleges is a MUST. You will be living there for four years and if you don’t see it then making an application to a school and subsequent decisions become more difficult. When searching for your best college fit there are many factors to consider. Depending on your subject area of interest or a co-curricular passion, some criteria will be of higher importance on your list.
Here are 10 criteria to consider:
- Atmosphere on Campus – do you feel comfortable? is it too big? small?
- Residences– what is available? co-ed or single sex? what are the rooms like? cost? single vs. double?
- Colleges – (This is common in the UK, and some Canadian Universities) – Is the university based on a college system? if so, how do you select a college? what is the purpose of the colleges?
- Classes – how are classes conducted – seminar? tutorials? lectures? labs? Does the university offer the kind of courses that you want? Do you take a general program in your first year? Is there a good variety of courses?
- Program – are there any unique programs? possibilities for exchange/travel? research opportunities with specific professors? co-op? internship possibilities? Concurrent programs?
- Student Facilities – Library? Athletics? Student Services (Counselling? Health? Learning Support? Tutoring?)
- Proximity to home– travel expenses to & from school
- Urban or Rural?
- Tuition Costs – Scholarship possibilities, on campus work possibilities to help with expenses?
- Food plans- choices? costs?
A helpful tool for your college search is to create a chart for your initial list. As you search through web sites, books and any other information, include programs of interest, cut off grades and any prerequisite courses needed. By then adding relevant criteria, as listed above, you will have a full list of things to observe and ask on admission tours. Remember to stay organized and start early. Good luck & enjoy your visits!
Until next time,