Making the Most of College Visits

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • When should I visit?

    Try to schedule visits during long weekends and school holidays. Summer is a great time to take a college tour! If you need an excused absence from school for a prospective visit, discuss it with the Academic Dean and the College Counselor, and have the appropriate forms signed.
  • What should I do in advance of my visit?

    Get information from each college’s web site about the timing of group information sessions, tours, and interviews (if they are offered). Find out if you need to schedule the visit, or whether you can just show up. The web site ought to provide you with driving directions and a campus map as well. Make sure you know where the admissions office is, and where you need to park. Allow plenty of time in case of traffic or other delays.
  • Why should I visit colleges?

    To see how they “fit.” Just as you would try on shoes or test-drive a car, you need to determine if you will feel comfortable in the place where you might spend the next four years. All the research and rankings in the world won’t give you a “sense of place” that can only be obtained by first-hand experience.
  • In addition to group information sessions, tours, and interviews (if they are offered), what other things should I try to do when I’m visiting a college?

    Immerse yourself in life at that college! Here are just a few things you can do to better understand the college you are visiting:
    • Pick up a copy of the student newspaper.
    • Eat a meal or a snack on campus.
    • Visit the bookstore.
    • Read the flyers posted on bulletin boards.
    • Visit any buildings of special interest to you (theater, radio stations, art studio, stables, etc.) that may not be on the regular tour.
    • Visit a class or two, if possible.
    • Walk around the surrounding town a bit.
  • What kinds of questions should I ask an interviewer or tour guide?

    You should ask questions about specific academic or extra-curricular programs that are of interest to you. Don’t ask basic questions that might indicate that you haven’t done your homework in researching the school. Here are some questions you might  want to ask:
    • What kind of access do undergraduate students have to professors?
    • How big are the freshman classes?
    • What happens on a typical weekend on campus?
    • To what degree do students become involved in community service?
    • What are the most controversial issues on campus right now?
    • How easy is it to register for the classes you want or need to take?
    • Why did you choose to go/work here?
    • How does the advisor/advisee system work?
    • Do you have an honor code? How effective is it?
    • What percent of students spend a semester or year abroad? What countries are most popular?
    • How does the housing system work?
  • What should I do after I leave the school?

    Immediately record your impressions in a journal or notebook. If you had an interviewer or overnight host, write him/her a thank-you note.
A girls' boarding and day school in southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers advanced courses, global study and travel, as well as project-based learning. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.
800 Chatham Hall Circle | Chatham, VA 24531 | 434.432.2941 |