Dos and Don’ts on a College Visit

Updated May 29, 2019

The following list of college visit travel tips was compiled from comments made by various admissions directors and staff from colleges and universities across the U.S.

DO check the weather conditions at your destination before leaving home. Allow extra time or consider changing plans if severe weather is forecast.

DON’T blame the admissions staff if the weather created travel delays or affected your mood. Try to make the best of things.

Open DO plan ahead. Check the school’s web site for dates of tours and information sessions and to find out if reservations are required and when these events are available. Some schools do not offer tours during semester breaks and some admissions offices will close during holiday breaks.

Pro-tip: If you’re visiting during peak times, such as open house events or major travel holidays, book your hotel as early as possible.

DON’T expect a visit to campus when classes are not in session to provide the same options or experience as visiting during the regular semester schedule for any particular school.

DO allow enough time to get a parking pass, park your vehicle and walk to the admissions office.

Depending on the size of the campus, location of parking lots, and traffic, you may need to allow as much as 30-40 minutes extra to get where you need to be.

DON’T underestimate the amount of time it takes to reach your destination even after you’ve arrived on campus. Driving on college campuses comes with its own unique set of challenges that range from waiting at cross walks while large groups of students make their way to and from classes, to unusual traffic patterns, unfamiliar signage and possibly remote locations of parking areas.

DO remember that the logistics of getting to the college have nothing to do with what you will experience once you arrive and begin to explore life on that campus.

DON’T forget to ask questions and make notes about each school you visit. Take a notebook with you or use our college visit evaluation form to keep track of where you’ve been and what you thought of each school you visited. It’s free–print as many as you need.

Have any “Dos” and “Don’ts” you’d like to share? Comments are welcome!