5 Things to Consider When Planning a College Visit

A good school is like a well-oiled machine. It isn’t just the campus, it isn’t just the location, it isn’t just the academics, it isn’t just the student body and it isn’t just the athletics that make a college what it is. All of these factors combined make a college ideal for a collegiette.

To make sure you’re more impressed than McKayla Maroney when you visit a school, it’s a good idea to make sure certain factors are in your favor.  While you can’t control everything about a school, there are some ways to ensure you’ll visit it at the perfect time. Here are some ways to make sure you visit a school on the best day possible!

1. Go on the Day (or Weekend) of a Big Game

From football to basketball, sports are a huge aspect of most major universities. Planning a visit around a big game is given. School spirit drips from the students and fans at the games, and it gives prospective students a unique insight into the enthusiasm the student body has for their school.

“There is no other stadium as wild and fun as Assembly Hall,” says Indiana University freshman Julie Konners about basketball at her school. “There is seriously no better way for a potential student to see how much spirit a school has.”

2. Research the Typical Weather Patterns

While a northern school may seem absolutely glorious during a visit in the midst of summer, you might need many, many layers in the winter.

“It's easier to love a school in the summer when it's warm than in the winter when it's freezing, but you'll be there for both seasons,” says Julia Sullivan, a freshman at the University of Florida. “If you're applying to a school that has extreme weather—for example, somewhere in Indiana or Michigan—make sure you visit there in the winter.”

Although it’s more alluring to visit a school in ideal weather, it would be better for you to see a school in the height of its longest season to make sure you’re willing to endure it for long periods of time.

When University of Alabama freshman Kaitlyn Elgart visited Alabama, “the weather was awful. It was raining the entire time and it was disgusting. … It was really warm in November, which is much different than at home in Pennsylvania, where it's cold by then, so I knew I was willing to endure all types of weather.”