At the University of Maryland, high school students take a student-led tour in order to learn about the campus. College counselors advise students to visit colleges to help them decide if they would enjoy attending school there.



Students benefit from experiencing schools firsthand

By Emma Klebe ’13

The moment is finally here. Time for hopeful students to open their mailboxes and discover the colleges to which they have been accepted. After excited screams or disappointed tears, there’s now another important dilemma to take care of —actually deciding which college to attend.

According to the UASD website, approximately 95 percent of students go on to attend a university or college. With the variety of schools students can choose from, college visits are crucial in helping students make their final decision.

Although today’s technology allows high schoolers to view a good deal of college infomation online, visits give students a different outlook. According to UAHS college counselor Mark Davis, visits offer information that brochures and websites cannot provide.

“[Visits] allow students to see the interaction between students, classroom experience and parts of campus not shown on the website, such as construction, older facilities, food quality and surrounding environment,” Davis said.

“College visits can make or break a student’s final decision of where they want to go to school,” he said.

“(A visit) is absolutely the best way to determine if the college is the right ‘fit’ for the student,” Davis said.

Davis suggests paying close attention to specific features when visiting.

“Comparing facilities, dorms, educational opportunities, safety, activities and entertainment are all aspects of the college experience that a student needs to assess when comparing schools,” he said.

Davis went on to explain why school tours can also be helpful.

“Tours offer an opportunity to see the best aspects of a campus; pictures and notes from these tours are vital to remembering each college,” he said. “Pictures will jog memories of the experience on one campus compared to another.”

Senior Libby Wilmer has been on numerous college visits and has found them to be beneficial.

“They show you the atmosphere of a potential school and the programs that are provided,” she said.

Wilmer also believes that visiting a college may even increase your chance of acceptance.

“[Visiting] also shows that you’re interested in the school and will greatly help you when the school is deciding whether or not they should accept you,” she said.

When it comes down to decision time, knowing what to look out for on visits allows the experience to be as helpful as possible.