So, you’re back from your college visits. Now what?
I imagine you have a collection of tote bags filled to the brim with paper, books, pamphlets, notes, maps, maybe empty granola wrappers and water bottles. Give yourself a day or two to wind down from the trip, let the information sink in a bit. Then, put some time aside to go through what you have, and consider the following suggestions:
1) Send “thank you” notes to the college reps you met along the way. Maybe a student gave a great tour, or provided a good idea of what to expect. Maybe the admissions director gave you ample time to ask all of your questions. Uh oh, but you don’t have their name? No problem. The college’s online directory should refresh your memory, and if you didn’t get the student’s info, I’m sure the admissions office would be able to help – they just may need know the tour you took, where and when. (In the future, collect this information, and get business cards wherever you go. It’s a good habit to start for everyone you meet.)
2) Organize what you brought home, and read it through. Review the college newspaper, course catalog, amenities offered, make notes of the buildings and grounds, and the dorms you toured. Do you even want to consider this college? Or maybe a college you thought was “eh” has now moved up on the list.
3) Once you have narrowed down the colleges that remain on your list, you now have great material to draw from when answering the question, “why do you want to go to this college?” You can be specific, and discuss how the visit helped in the decision.