Senior Admission Counselor Mary Sue Miheve of St. Catherine University encourages students to visit schools in which they may be interested: “Not only does it give you an idea of the actual facilities and lay-out of the college campus, it can also give you an idea of the community and culture. Are students in the quad eating lunch, chatting between classes or throwing a frisbee, or is everyone wearing headphones and walking to classes in silence? A campus tour can also give you time to chat with a current student about her experience and truly allow you to gauge the personality of the campus and the make-up of the student body.”
Some tips from St. Kate’s Mary Sue Miheve:
Start visiting in your sophomore or junior year of high school. These first visits can help you begin to understand exactly what would be the best fit for you. Do you like the feel of a large state university or a small private campus? Do you want to stay close to home or be farther away? Do you want to be in an urban environment or a more rural setting? Visiting a variety of campuses will help you answer these questions.
Take some time to think about your campus visit ahead of time. Sit down with your family and think of questions you would like to ask and topics you would like to discuss with both an admission representative and current students.
When setting up your campus visit be specific as to what you would like to hear and see. For example, if you are interested in Art be sure to ask if the Art studio is part of the tour. If it is not, ask if someone can show you the facilities separately. This will allow the admission office to understand your needs and give you clear expectations about your visit.
“At St. Kate's,” says Miheve, “our tour allows students to choose 2-3 unique sites (for example, the Art Gallery, Nutrition/Fashion Labs, Nursing Labs, or specific offices) to see during their tour time in addition to the standard tour route. These are places that may not be of interest to every student but that can meet individual students’ interests. As a small campus we feel it is important to give each student a sense of the individual attention they will receive while attending school here starting right from their first campus tour. Most tours are one-on-one, meaning one tour guide per family.”
St. Catherine University sits on 110 wooded acres in the Highland Village neighborhood of St. Paul, Minnesota — less than a mile from the Mississippi River and in one of the most vibrant metropolitan areas of the country. To learn more, visit St. Kate’s website: www.stkate.edu.
To keep up with answers to your questions and impressions of the schools you visit, download the Smart College Evaluation Form. Print as many copies as you need and take them with you as you travel from college to college.