The Importance of the Campus Visit

By Katherine Beck, admissions counselor
View Katherine’s bio >>
Wow – it’s been a while since we’ve posted to our blog! Here in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions we’ve been unbelievably busy trying to make sure all of our freshman applicants who applied by January 15 received their decision by April 1. Thinking about our new freshman class puts in perspective that this past weekend yet another class of VCU graduates made their way out into the world. It’s hard to believe that just awhile ago the class of 2010 was sitting where you may be today – finishing up high school, thinking about college and hopefully planning some campus visits.
Since many of you will make visits to colleges over the summer, we decided that it may be helpful to give you some tips about what to do and expect when it comes to campus visits. Undoubtedly, the campus visit is one of the most important parts of your college selection process. How can you know if a school is the right fit for you until you experience it yourself? It’s important to get a sense of the energy around a campus and see everything with your own two eyes.
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions, like many colleges, offers a daily scheduled information session and campus tour that runs throughout the week. But there’s so much more you might be able to do beyond that.
Are you interested in a particular program? How can you find out more about it? Does that program make appointments with students and their families? Take advantage of the different opportunities available so that you can totally immerse yourself in the college you are visiting.
Beyond what is offered, do a little bit of exploring on your own. Talk a stroll through the campus and even into some of the buildings. Take a look at the bulletin boards to see what is going on campus. Even go beyond the campus and check out the surrounding areas. For example, those who come to visit VCU are often recommended to go check out Carytown, Belle Isle or anything of the other things there are to do in and around Richmond. Remember, you’ll not only be studying wherever you attend, but you’ll be living there for four years.
Come prepared with questions for the tour guides and student ambassadors. You can even ask students that you see in the dining hall or the student center about their experience and for recommendations. It may seem silly, but trust us, students who are enjoying their experience are happy to share their stories.
Most importantly, have fun! Think of these visits as a chance to view all of the opportunities that could be right at your finger tips. You never know – you could be viewing what could be your new home!
While we encourage all of our prospective students to come check us out, we understand that not everyone may be able to make the trip. If that’s the case, you can take our interactive campus tour found online at the following Web site: Interactive Campus Tour. We’ve also uploaded our self-guided tour and podcast for anyone who visits us when we are closed:
Self-Guided Tour. Download the files and listen as one of our student ambassadors, J.R. Johnson, takes you on a tour of campus.
You can also visit the following Web site for general information about tours, directions and holiday closings: Visit VCU.
Until next time!