College Visits & Fairs
There is no substitute for seeing a college for yourself! It can be one of the most powerful experiences you will have in the whole research and planning process. In order to take advantage of these visits, here are several things to keep in mind.
- Plan an official visit! Don't just walk around campus, but sign up for a visit on a college's website and get an official guided tour to get your questions answered.
- Learn about the college before you arrive and think of some questions you want answered on the visit. Think about the things that are most important to you in a college.
- Talk to students on campus and try the food.
- Take a drive off campus to see what the surrounding community is like.
- Write down your impressions - you'll be amazed how quickly you can forget things, especially if you are seeing multiple campuses on one trip.
Need ideas about what types of questions you should be asking? Check the links below. Remember to ask questions that are important to you in this process.
Customize this resource to help you organize your thoughts and reflect upon your visits. Change the headings to what is most important to you.
Want to get information about many colleges at one time? Then a college fair is for you! There are local college fairs each year. One in October at COD and one in March at North Central College. Read the tips below before attending a college fair.
- Go with a plan! There can be over 100 colleges at a college fair, making it impossible to talk to everyone. Research which colleges will be at the fair ahead of time and determine which colleges you will target that evening.
- Do I need to RSVP? Some colleges work with a company called StriveScan. Students can create an account on StriveScan so that colleges can scan their ID when they talk with them. This ensures that colleges have the student's information and saves time on filling out cards by hand at the table.
- Come prepared with questions. You might have the same question for all colleges. Or, you might have specific questions for particular colleges. Either way, you want to have something to say when you approach the table. Need ideas for questions? Click here.
- Follow-up with the reps, if applicable. If you want to send a follow-up message to any of the representatives you met with, you can email them after the fair to thank them for spending time with you and answering your questions.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get on a college campus, especially if the college is more than a quick drive away. Virtual visits can be a great way to determine if a college that is on your tentative list should definitely be on your list or off your list. SchooLinks offers some virtual tours. Colleges are also offering virtual information sessions and tours and these can be found by going to a college's admissions website. Below are other websites that offer good virtual tour options.