General

Top Tips for Admitted Student College Visits

admitted student visit - cropped - with white background

Receiving your letter or email of admission is a time for celebration!  What’s your next step? Many colleges will be inviting you to visit the campus as an admitted student. 

These visits can be: 

  • A designated day event on campus 
  • A designated weekend or overnight event on campus 
  • A designated window of time in which to visit  
  • A scholarship competition 
  • An orientation 

We have tips for making the most of these visits. 

Preparing for the visit 

  • Review your priorities for a good college fit.  As discussed in the blog What is College Fit, fit includes 4 components; academic, social, emotional and physical.  
  • Brush up on the details.  Refresh your knowledge about the school’s size, academic options, and other details that interest you.  Your visit will be more meaningful if you have the basics down. 
  • Explore advising options for your major.  When do you start advising? 
  • Review housing options.  Where would you live? 
  • Explore activities offered.  What appeals to you? 

On Campus 

Prepare a list of questions to ask during your admitted student visit.  Plan a visit when the college is in session.  You need to see the college from the perspective of a student.  As a part of the visit, see if you can make the following appointments: 

  1. Academic Advising.  If possible, meet with an academic advisor in your area of study.  Learn more about the courses and professors in your selected field of study. 
  2. Tour housing/dorm options.  Where will you live as a freshman? 
  3. Meet with a financial aid advisor.  What is your financial aid package?  Do your parents have questions that need answered? 

 

As you visit the campus, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Would I fit in academically here? 
  • Would I fit in socially here? 
  • Do I feel comfortable with the physical location? 

 

Learn from Kaetlyn 

Kaetlyn writes about her college visits and shares her tips for creating the best visit experience. 

 

After Your Visit 

  • Send a thank you for the visit. 
  • Record your thoughts as soon as possible.   

Take Action
Make plans now to visit colleges before May 1.  Use 3-day weekends, breaks, or anytime you have available to visit the colleges to which you have been admitted. 

read more

How to Make the Most of Your College Visits

The College Visit 

Depending on your time and interest level, plan one of the following types of college visits: 

 

Basic Visit 

  1. Attend an information session.  Ask questions about admissions, financial aid, choice of majors.  IMPORTANT: Get a business card from an admissions person. 
  2. Do a college and dorm tour.  What does the campus look like?  Where do freshman live? What are the housing options? 
  3. Eat a meal on campus.  Go to the dining hall or coffee shop and eat.  Introduce yourself to some students and ask questions.  You will be surprised at how much they want to share about the college. 

 

Extended Visit 

In addition to the basic visit schedule – an information session, a campus tour, and a meal on campus – ask if you can add the following appointments at the schools that you are most interested in:  

  1. Meet individually with an admissions counselor.  Ask more about special programs, what the college has to offer, and your admissions expectations.  IMPORTANT: Get a business card from an admissions person. 
  2. Meet with a financial aid advisor.  What types of financial aid and/or merit scholarships do they offer?  What questions do your parents have that need answered? 
  3. Meet with an academic advisor in the field of study that interests you.  Learn more about the courses and professors in your selected field of study. 
  4. Visit a class.  Before your visit, get permission to sit in on a class.  This gives you a feel for what college will be like, and what it would feel like to be a student there. 

 

Overnight Visit 

Some colleges offer prospective students the chance to spend the night on campus to learn more about the school.  An overnight visit will provide great insight into student life on campus.  These visits are usually organized by the college, and include college tours, classes on campus, and the chance to stay in a college dorm with a college student host. 

Check with your counselor for a list of colleges that offer overnight stays. Save overnight visits for your top college choices. 

 

On Your Visit 

As you do the college tour of the campus, ask yourself these questions: 

  • Would fit in academically here? 
  • Would I fit in socially here? 
  • Do I feel comfortable with the physical location? 

 

Follow up after your visit 

  • Send a thank you email to the admissions representative that conducted the information session or that you met with individually. 
  • Record your visit using the Discuss Tab – or download our college visit form.  Pros/Cons can be listed on the Decisions Tab under Decision Details. 
  • Add visits as milestones or tasks.  Use college profiles to learn about a school. 

 

Take Action 

Make plans now to visit colleges on your list.  Enjoy your visits and find out which school fits you best!

  

read more

Road Trip: Preparing for Spring Break College Visits

continents

Using your spring break to visit colleges is a great idea, but be aware of spring break schedules for the colleges you wish to visit. It’s best to see a college when students are on campus. Here are a few tips to prepare for your spring college visits. 

 

  • Create a College Visit Itinerary. Using a map, look at college locations and decide on an itinerary that fits within your given time.  Don’t worry if you can’t see all of the colleges on your list. Focus on some of your top choices and then plan other school visits that are within the same geographic area. 
  • Register for college visits online.  Once you have a list of colleges to visit, register for campus tours online with the admissions office.  Resist the urge to plan “drive through” visits.  An official campus tour takes more time, but gives you a better feel for the college/campus. And don’t plan too many visits in a day –  one or two per day is best. 
  • Review your priorities for a good college fit. As discussed in the blog  What is College Fit, fit includes 4 components; academic, social, emotional and physical.  
  • Learn the basics.  Look up the school’s size, majors offered, and other details that interest you. Your visit will be more meaningful when you know the basics.
  • Create a List of Questions. Write down your Top 10 Questions for each college visit.  Focus on what you would study and who would you study with. 

 

Take Action 

Use GuidedPath to find links to college admission offices to schedule visits. Take a virtual tour of a college by viewing YOUniversityTV videos from the “Tours” tab. 

 

Review the details on the colleges by clicking on the “Info” and “FISKE” tabs.  Watch for next week’s email: How to make the most of your college visits.  


read more

Finding money for college

search for scholarships transparent and cropped

You may have thought you were done with writing essays and sending applications, but not quite yet.  Now is the time to look for scholarships.  And don’t get discouraged.  In this case, one more essay or scholarship application could mean a big pay-off for you.  A few more hours of your time could turn into hundreds or even thousands of dollars!   

 

College scholarships typically come from three sources: 

  1. The colleges to which you have been accepted. 
  2. Local community organizations 
  3. National or larger regional organizations 

 

At your College 

Most scholarships come from the schools that have admitted you.    See the scholarship tab in GuidedPath for your schools.  It lists academic scholarships offered to 8 or more students. 

 

Start Locally  

Local organizations are the hidden gems of scholarship money.  Although the awards are typically smaller in dollar amount, you also don’t have as much competition.  Many local scholarships are actually looking for applicants!  Churches, service organizations (like the VFW, or the Junior League), local charitable funds, even your parent’s employer may have scholarship opportunities.  The key is finding the information – who, what, when, where, why and how to apply!    

 

Check with: 

  • Your high school counseling office 
  • Parent organizations (PTA, Booster clubs, etc.) 
  • Your local library 

 

Expand Regionally 

Use your residence as a means to get more money for college.  Many states offer scholarships to top students.  Check to see what is offered through your state.  Check deadlines for any state scholarships you qualify for. 

 

Compete Nationally 

There are dozens of national scholarship search engines available.  Many are nothing more than a way to market credit cards or other products to you.   These are our recommended scholarship search engines.   

 

Take Action 

Add your college scholarship deadlines to your application plan.   

Review the scholarship tab for all colleges on your list and determine your eligibility for specific awards.  Add milestones or notes for the scholarships you are planning to apply for.

read more

Check Your State Scholarship Deadlines

scholarship hourglass - transparent

Many states have connected their scholarship programs to the FAFSA. It makes it easy to apply for a state scholarship through the FAFSA, as long as you make the deadline.  Check with your counselor to see what the deadlines are for your state or region.  

Finding the Due Dates 

Some programs direct you to check with the state agency. Check your state for deadlines and steps you need to take to be considered for any state scholarship  

Take Action 

Use GuidedPath application plans to create a milestone/due date for state scholarships in an assignment. Don’t miss out because you missed a deadline.  

read more

Seven Tips for Acing the SAT


How can you ace the SAT? Here are 7 tips for you:

  1. Test Day Checklist.  Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST. Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch, and an approved calculator.
  2. Consider Using Score Choice. Consider waiting to send your scores until you see them. You can send them to selected colleges later.
  3. Guess. There is no penalty for wrong answers on the SAT or ACT meaning that the most important strategy is to answer as many questions as possible.  Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score.  If you see that time is running short on a section use the last minute to fill in as many bubbles as you can – you can add a few points to your score by simply guessing one more right answer.
  4. Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2.  The SAT emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry.  Not much Geometry. The math section includes many word based problems.
  5. Pace Yourself. Remember you have two sections to do: Evidence based Reading and Writing, and Math. The optional essay section is at the end of the test. The test is 3 hours if you are not doing the essay section, 3 hours and 50 minutes with the essay. 
  6. Prepare for an Analytical Essay.  The SAT essay is 50 minutes long, optional, and focused on analyzing content. Gone is the persuasive essay. Prepare to support your analysis in your writing.
  7. Relax.  This is just a test. It shows your ability on a single Saturday. It does not define the rest of your life.  You will have a chance to retake it or take the ACT. You have been going to school for over 10 years. You know more than you realize. 

Take Action 

Review your testing schedule and keep track of test registrations. Add all your spring tests to your testing schedule. 

Registration links: 

ACT
SAT  

Ask at your school about taking a practice SAT or ACT test.

read more