College catalogs, virtual tours, and websites are great resources for learning about a college, but seeing a college for yourself can be the best way to determine if a school is right for you. Here are a few steps for planning a successful campus visit on your own:
- Visit the admissions page on the college’s website. Most, if not all, colleges these days have a website that is only a quick online search away.
- Learn about visiting the campus. Schools may offer a variety of ways to interact with and learn about the college, including campus tours, information sessions, faculty panels, sitting in on classes, admissions presentations, etc. Find out what interests and works best for you and your time on-campus.
- Schedule a visit by registering online, calling the admissions office, or emailing a request. Be sure to include information about your visit such as the time you will likely arrive and the date of your visit. If you would like to take a tour, talk to an admissions counselor, stay overnight in a residence hall or visit a class, make the proper arrangements through the admissions office.
- Arrive 15 minutes beforehand. Especially if you are scheduled for a tour or an appointment. College campuses may take some time to navigate. It is always best to shoot for an earlier arrival just to be cautious. Aiming to arrive around 15 minutes should give you enough time to find where you need to be.
- Have questions prepared. Be sure to research the school before arriving on campus and find out what is important for you to learn more about. Bringing along a list of questions concerning academics, housing, clubs and activities, professors, classes, sports, campus jobs, or anything else that interests you is a great way to cover everything you set out to ask about.
- Try to talk to as many students as possible. Students may provide valuable insight into life at a college not seen through college-generated brochures or websites.
Also, remember to call ahead because tours, interviews, and overnight stays may fill up early.
Here are some colleges you can start learning about today!
Within Chicago (accessible by CTA):
Loyola University of Chicago, Kendall College, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, The John Marshall Law School, U of I at Chicago, University of Chicago, St. Xavier University, Robert Morris University-Illinois, Northeastern Illinois University, National-Louis University, Roosevelt University, Rush University, School of the Art Inst. Chicago, Chicago State University, Richard J. Daley College, Wilbur Wright College, East-West University, Ellis University, Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, Malcolm X College, Kennedy-King College, Harry S Truman College, Harold Washington College, Olive-Harvey College, Northwestern University
Within Illinois (within three hour drive):
Aurora University, Fox College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Olivet Nazarene University, Morton College, Northern Illinois University, Elmhurst College, Knox College, Carl Sandburg College, Lake Forest College, University of St. Francis, Illinois State University, Concordia University, Triton College, Augustana College, Lewis University, U of I at Urbana/Champaign, Wheaton College