Without a doubt, college visits are very important. If possible, you should visit all the colleges you are applying to but if the school is too far away, you should visit the school's website and try and take a virtual tour. When planning a visit, aim to:
- Contact the college admission office beforehand and let them know that you are coming. Ask the admission representative how often tours are scheduled and where they begin.
- If you have a particular major in mind, try to arrange a meeting with a representative of that department.
- Arrange to sit in on a few classes that interest you.
- Visit the financial aid office and ask questions.
- Look through a copy of the campus newspaper.
- Get a copy of the course catalog and check out the list of faculty and their credentials.
- Spend the night in a dorm and eat at the dining hall.
- Arrange a meeting with coaches if you will plan to pursue athletics.
- Meet with the leader of any activity, club or organization that you may want to pursue.
- Ask students on campus what they like best and least about the college.
Sometimes, at the conclusion of a college tour, you may have the chance to speak with an admission officer - this is an excellent opportunity for you to market yourself to the college. Be prepared with a list of questions to ask.
The NCAA has established a clearinghouse for both recruiting and eligibility purposes for student-athletes in Divisions I and II. This does not apply to Division III applicants. All students with an interest in Division I or II programs, but especially those interested in making official visits to colleges (i.e. expenses paid) in the fall of their senior year, should pick up clearinghouse forms at the college/guidance office at the end of their junior year.
College fairs are an excellent way for you to get college information.
The College Planning Center of Rhode Island hosts an annual college fair with the Pawtucket Red Sox each September.
There are also two additional major college fairs that are held in RI. One is in October (usually the third Sunday) at Rhode Island College. The second is a held in April at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. There are also a number of local fairs hosted by high schools. For more details on dates and times, visit our calendar.