Preparing for the future

College visits prove to be crucial for making a decision.


Laura Mogannam, In-House Media Editor

College visits can be hard to squeeze in between completing admission applications and keeping up on classwork, but checking out a potential school can be a crucial step in the college decision process.

“Visiting colleges is a great opportunity for students to get a sense of what a college campus and the surrounding area is like,” College Counseling Director Rebecca Munda said. “If a student goes on a tour, it helps them determine what their preferences are.”

Many colleges and universities offer campus tours along with an information session for prospective enrollees throughout the year, making breaks and long weekends a common time to visit colleges outside of the Bay Area.

“I am going to visit colleges in Boston and Connecticut during the February break,” junior Sophie Egan said. “I want to see the East Coast during the winter to make sure I like it because it would be awful to attend a school there and realize I hate snow.”

Upperclassmen often find visiting all of the colleges they are looking to apply to before applications are due challenging due to busy schedules.

“I have not visited most of the schools that I applied to,” senior Mary Crawford said. “It depends on the location of the schools. In a lot of cases, it is hard for my parents to find time and money to visit.”

There is nothing like seeing it in person, It’s not just going to be where you study, it is going to be your new home

For those who cannot visit a school in person, researching a school online, taking the virtual tour, meeting with college admission representatives when they are in the Bay Area, and talking to former alumnae at the schools are good alternatives, according to Munda.

Sarah Hong ’17, who attends Northeastern University in Boston, says she did not visit her school until after she was accepted.

“I relied on the website and the college representative that came to Convent to talk about Northeastern when I was deciding to apply,” Hong said. “The website was a really good source for finding out about their academic programs.”

While some students struggle to find time to visit, others have the opportunity to visit more than once. Kayla Man ’17, who now attends Whittier College in Southern California, says she visited Whittier once the summer before senior year and again after she had been accepted.

“The first time I visited was when I was looking at a bunch of colleges just to see what I would be interested in, Man said. “The second time was to finalize that I really wanted to go there because I was stuck between two schools.”

Munda says she recommends students visit the school website before physically visiting to see when and if tours and information sessions are available. Once on the tour, they should be engaged and bring a notebook to write notes during or immediately after the tour.

Keeping an open mind and talking to other people on campus besides admissions personnel will provide a well-rounded perspective of the school.

“There is nothing like seeing it in person,” Munda said. “It’s not just going to be where you study, it is going to be your new home.”