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After the College Visit
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We recommend jotting down a few notes after every college visit. This may seem pointless, but trust us--after visiting the ninth or tenth school, you'll have a hard time remembering which one had the killer cafeteria or the great library.
Your notes will be helpful when you decide where to apply (and, after you're admitted, where to go). They should be candid and real. They're for you—not your parents or college counselor. Be honest with yourself and trust your gut.
Here are some questions that will help you recall what you saw and heard.
What did you find out about the classes and programs of study/majors at the college? Do they offer a major in your area of interest? How large or small are the classes? How much contact is there between students and professors?
What did you find out about residence life and dorms at the college? Are students required to live on campus? Do most freshmen live on campus? Is there guaranteed housing for freshmen? Is there a freshmen-only dorm? What's the off-campus housing situation like?
Extracurricular and Social Activities
What did you find out about clubs, activities and athletics at the college? What clubs look interesting to you? What is there to do on the weekends? Are there fraternities and sororities? Do they dominate the social scene? What percentage of students study abroad at some point during their four years?
How much is tuition? What other charges are there (room and board, fees, computers, etc)? What types of scholarships or financial aid is available? When are the deadlines? What do you need to do to apply?
When is the application due? What else should you send (transcript, essay, recommendations, etc.)? Is there an early action or early decision option? What does the school look for in an applicant?
What percentage of students receive jobs in their field of interest after graduation? Is there a job or career placement program? What internship programs or opportunities are available?