What is the right amount of colleges you should visit? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to that question that will tell you the magic number. The best answer is to visit as many schools as you can because there is nothing more helpful in determining if a college is right for you than seeing it in person. Here are 5 tips to help you define the right number of college visits to make.
1. Shopping Around
Our suggestions are to visit as many schools close to home as you can to help establish your list of target schools. Even if you’re not interested in that particular school, plan a visit there to help determine other key factors on your list, such as size or majors.
2. Determining Distance
Once you have your list, location will play an important role in the number of campuses you can visit. If you’re planning to attend a school close to home, visiting all of them should be easy enough to do. If your goal is to attend college as far away as possible, plan a trip early on to schools on your list to make sure that is what you really want. You’d be surprised how many students change their mind after they realize what it is like to be so far from home! If you’re unsure about distance, visit a variety of locations and use that to decide what your ‘zone to home’ is.
3. Making Comparisons
Besides geography, visiting will help narrow down the list of schools to which you apply because you’ll be able to make comparisons between them. If you visit several campuses in a row, be sure to take notes and pictures right away so it doesn’t all become one big blur.
4. Practice Interviewing
Taking a campus tour and scheduling an interview allows you to ask important questions about what each school offers. It also allows you to practice your interviewing skills in a variety of situations, which will ensure you’re quite prepared when interviewing at your dream school!
5. Determining Where to Apply
It is generally recommended you apply to no fewer than 3 and no more than 8 colleges, which means you need to visit at least that many. It’s unlikely that you’ll want to apply at every college you visit so develop a list that allows you to weed out schools you are no longer interested in. After a visit,determine whether or not to keep that school on your list and apply there.