Beginning College Visits? Go Local

If you're just beginning college visits, start where you already are. Five reasons to go local on your first college visit.Just beginning college visits? Whether you visit 5 colleges or 25, you can get a jump on learning how to get the most from each visit by starting local.

Here are 5 reasons to go local on your first college visits:

  1. Little or no advance planning is needed. All you need is a quick check of the web site to find out when campus tours are offered and if pre-registration is required.
  2. There’s comfort in the familiar.  If you’ve already spent time on campus or have friends who attend the college, then you probably already feel comfortable with the people and the place. Use this to your advantage and don’t be shy about asking questions. Getting all of your questions answered is critical to making the right college choice.
  3. You can practice on the locals. If you’re the least bit nervous about walking up to a college student to ask a question, then practice on the locals. As you expand your campus visit radius, you’ll find that college students everywhere are almost always willing to talk with prospective students. Get over your shyness and find out what’s great and what’s not-so-great at every college you visit.
  4. You’ll discover what you don’t know. It’s easy to take the familiar for granted. By going on a local campus tour, you’ll be surprised to learn some local history, discover the programs enhance learning opportunities, what extracurricular programs there are,  and find out what’s required to get admitted. You’ll likely gain a fresh perspective when you see your local college through the eyes of students who came to this school from different states or countries.
  5. Local college visits save you money. With no overnight hotel stays and only a short drive or bus ride to campus, there’s no doubt you’ll save money. With that extra cash in your pocket, be sure to have a meal on campus. That could very well be a new experience at a place you know so well. You can apply what you’ve learned by beginning college visits locally later — when the stakes are higher with overnight hotel fees and travel costs added in to the mix.

Related reading:

College Visits — Where to start

You don’t have to visit every college on the list

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