Have you ever made a bad online shopping purchase? The reviews were great, but when you received it, the jacket just fit you poorly? There’s an often-forgotten comfort in purchasing something in person – the ability to try it on before committing.
Try-before-you-buy isn’t a strategy saved only for your closet. In fact, you should try out college before committing. College visits and campus tours are valuable in determining if a college is the right fit for you. Even if you’re planning to attend a local college or university, there’s plenty of great reasons to schedule a visit to campus.
One of the best reasons to visit a college campus is to learn about everything the college can offer from a firsthand perspective. Campus tour guides usually are current students or staff members who have wisdom about campus that extends far beyond the college website. Your guide might share the quietest places to study, fastest time to grab a bite at the cafeteria, highest recommended classes or another piece of information that you’d never know about the college otherwise.
Many college visits allow time to chat with your potential professors or peers about the programs you’re interested in, as well. Hearing from students in your future field of study can help you determine if the college’s program is the best fit for you personally. You can ask personal, specific questions, like if majoring in chemistry while pursuing college basketball is possible, which may help make your final decision between which college or university to choose.
Visiting a college campus also helps you feel prepared for your college experience from start to finish. You can visit the student services office to check on the status of your application or visit the financial aid office to follow up on your next steps while asking your toughest questions to knowledgeable staff. Stop by the campus bookstore to learn about the ease of purchasing textbooks and supplies. Test your taste buds in the cafeteria. Chat with faculty or students to learn what high school classes will prepare you best for the rigors of college. Visit the student activities office and learn about the clubs, organizations and athletic programs available at the college so you can continue to pursue your passions (or discover new ones) post high school.
If you’re curious about Kish, now is the time to visit! Any in-district high school seniors or juniors who schedule a Kish campus tour with Student Outreach between now and Nov. 30 will receive a $5 gift card to a local chain and Kish swag. Students must schedule a campus tour through Student Outreach to be eligible. For information or to schedule a visit, call Kish Student Outreach at 815-825-9460 or sign up online at www.kish.edu/visit-campus.
Future college students face a huge pressure in choosing the right college or university, especially because there is no return policy. Be sure to schedule a college visit to make sure it’s the right fit before you buy!
• April Gleason High is the staff writer at Kishwaukee College.