For some students, April signifies the beginning of the end, as the spring term transitions to its home stretch. But for others, the peak of spring is just the beginning of the college experience as open house season begins to heat up along with the college selection process.
If you’re one of the latter, bear in mind these tips to help you navigate an open house to make sure you’re getting the most of your college visit.
Research ahead of time Going into an open house with no prior knowledge of the school can lead you to be overwhelmed with information. It can also lead you to be confused about the times and places of events, potentially causing you to miss out on valuable information. Do yourself a favor and spend about 45 minutes researching the school and its open house prior to your arrival.
Ask the right questions While there are no stupid questions at an open house (after all, you’re on a campus you’ve never been at before), there are definitely smart questions. Ask questions about student aid offices, traffic, and public transportation – basically things that you wouldn’t be able to easily answer yourself through the school’s website.
Sit in on a class Many open houses offer prospective students the chance to “crash,” or sit in on, a class session. Actively try to get in on this exciting opportunity. Seeing a class in action can give you a sense of what to expect from an academic standpoint and can even give you a chance to speak with a professor.
Talk to students If possible, try and chat with a current student at your open house. This will provide you your best opportunity to ask more honest questions like how students manage their time or what the school’s atmosphere is like.
Recruit the school Finally, keep the mindset throughout your open house experience that it isn’t just the school recruiting you, but you recruiting the school. Now, this doesn’t mean you can be lax and expect the school to roll out the red carpet for you, but it does mean you should stay engaged, pay attention to small details, and bring a notepad to write down your thoughts as well as any important contact information.
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