Top 3 Ways to Get to Know a College

At this point in your college search, you’ve probably browsed different colleges’ websites, maybe checking out the list of majors, pictures of the happy students, and a few of the main statistics. In the midst of all the information and pictures, it can be harder to get to the root of the college, to discern What is this school all about? and most importantly, to know Is it right for me? How do you get to know a college better than just a list of FAQs on its website?

1.)  Visit campus (in-person or virtually*)

This is going to seem like the most obvious advice, but the best way to experience a college campus is to visit – and visit purposefully. We would recommend planning a visit through the Admissions office – while you can certainly come and walk around a campus without an advanced schedule, a guided tour gives you an opportunity to get to know the school on a deeper level and ask questions. Your tour guide will often be a current student so you can get their story and perspective as well.

Do some research on the college before you visit to help familiarize yourself, and come up with questions to ask. Check out our list of common campus visit questions to get you started, but don’t be afraid to ask questions more specific to you and the college you’re visiting.

*Many colleges have a virtual tour on their website. Whether you live near or far, this is a great first step to experience the college before you even step foot on campus. Check out Grove City College’s virtual tour here.


2.)  Read and evaluate the college’s mission statement

Students often overlook this tip! While you can get to know a lot about a college by visiting, talking to students and professors, and researching online, the real purpose behind the college is revealed in a key place: the mission statement. A college’s mission statement will help you discern what is important to that college as an institution and what the school strives to accomplish. It is then up to you to decide 1.) whether you really connect with that college’s mission and values, and 2.) whether you can tangibly see how the college lives out that mission. For example, if the school’s mission statement emphasizes its commitment to a Christ-like environment or dedication to serving the community, do you see that mission demonstrated on your campus tour or in interactions with students and staff?

Do you resonate with Grove City College’s mission, vision, and values?


3.) Contact your Admissions Counselor

We are not as intimidating as our title seems, I promise! Yes, admissions counselors ultimately help make decisions as to who is accepted into the College, but we are also a resource for you to get to know the school better.

Admissions counselors can answer questions about the college – everything from the meal plan and dorm rooms to application essays and deadlines. They also may have more information than you can readily find online – maybe you’re interested in a specific major or extracurricular activity you don’t see on the website. You should still connect with an admissions counselor to hear more about the options the school offers in related areas or activities.

You can find out who your admissions counselor is by looking at the college’s website. Often your counselor is determined by what region you live in, but if you’re unsure, you can always email or call the main Admissions Office and ask to get connected with someone.

Get connected with your Grove City admissions counselor here and ask away!

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