A few months ago, I had the pleasure of connecting with a prospective student visiting campus. She enlightened me on the value of visiting campus when she shared her story; “Aside from my goals academically, I was told by a family member to visit and pay attention to the current students…if I enjoyed interacting with them, could see myself being friends with them, and felt as if I wanted to be like them — then this was the college for me. I need to see myself in others at the college, because I could become that person someday.” An interesting perspective, right? Imagine the potential of visiting an environment that provides insight of your future self. Can you see yourself being friends with people in the community? Do you feel excited about learning in this environment? Will you be challenged to become the best version of yourself? The only way to know the answer to these questions, as it relates to your college search, is to step foot on campus and immerse yourself into all aspects of the college. The college search process poses many questions you’ll have to answer on your own, but let me help by answering a few questions you may have in finding the right college for you. The first answer is – “Visit Us!”
Who can visit?
This may depend on the type of visit you are taking part in. For example, mom and dad will most likely not be allowed to stay with you during an overnight visit. With day visits such as a tour or informational session or large events, most schools would encourage family members to attend.
When can a student start visiting colleges? At Grove City, we welcome anyone to visit campus! Seniors and Juniors are most likely to visit campus as they begin their college search, however, we welcome anyone who is interested in learning more about the College.
When can I visit?
Most schools provide several options for visiting campus throughout the year, but I’ll share that it is best to visit when the college is in session and students are on campus. Remember my conversation I mentioned above; we want you to interact with current students (and faculty). If you come when the campus is alive, that will be the best indicator in determining whether or not the environment is the right fit for you!
An ideal timeline would be to do a general, informative visit sometime throughout your junior year of high school. This visit should include an opportunity to learn about the school, the academic department you’re interested in, financial aid opportunities and the application process. I would then recommend doing a more in-depth follow up visit during the Fall of your senior year of high school. During this visit you want to get a good picture of what your life would look like as a student here. Attend classes if given the opportunity, stay overnight with a student host, attend a team practice if you’re interested in playing a sport, eat in the cafeteria, and most importantly ask current students questions. Don’t be afraid to probe them for information on their favorite and least favorite aspects of the college.
I realize that you all have very busy schedules and some of you may live on the other side of the country and multiple visits are not possible. Not to worry! There are other ways you can get to know a college. Ask your Admissions Counselor to connect you with current students and alumni who share common interests perhaps by field of study or extracurricular activity. You can also ask them if they have the ability to connect you with an alumnus who lives in your area. That way you can meet face-to-face with someone and really get the scoop on the college.
If you are a senior and just beginning your college search, don’t panic! You have plenty of time to conduct a strategic and thorough search, but you will need to be proactive about it.
If you are considering visiting Grove City College, here are a few options to consider:
Personal visits become what you make them. At Grove City College, we strongly encourage you to interview or attend a question and answer session with our Admission Counselors to learn more about the College. We can also set up an opportunity for you to take a walking campus tour, visit a class of your choice, enjoy lunch or dinner in our dining hall, and schedule an overnight stay with a current student. Learn more and set up your appointment here.
Open House Events:
Starting in the fall, we plan several Open Houses that showcase the college’s top-tier academic programs and provide a sense of student life at Grove City College. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about our challenging academics, meet current faculty and students, take a walking tour of campus, and enjoy dining in our cafeterias. Learn more and register here.
If you simply can’t make it to campus, our Virtual Tour is an alternative to seeing the campus. You’ll have the opportunity to browse campus, learn our story, and look inside our state-of-the-art buildings. Click here to take your virtual tour.
If you started your college search, I’m confident you’ll be receiving countless brochures and catalogues to educate you about each college and how they differ from the next. Perhaps you already attended presentations by college representatives or your guidance counselor, and maybe you’re starting to browse college websites and follow them on social media. These interactions have the potential to form your opinion of a school, but it’s nearly impossible to evaluate your fit based on promotional literature. I hope you will consider visiting colleges this fall to experience first hand the environment, academics, housing, and the social life of each school. At Grove City College, we want you to visit and determine if we’re the right fit for YOU. Your decision should be based on where you feel most comfortable – academically and socially. It is not uncommon for a student to think that a college is right for them based on brochures and media, but later find out that it is not right fit. It’s best to explore your options before you arrive in the fall with your bags and books in hand!