College Visits for the Non-Traditional Student

Once you’ve narrowed down your college choices, an on-campus visit is an excellent idea. You need to visit the campus in order to decide if the school is the right fit for you. You can’t get that experience from guidebooks, catalogs, or a virtual visit. Contact the school to arrange an on-campus tour and visit, and read through the following tips before you go.
  • Find out what the school and campus has to offer to non-traditional students. Many colleges now offer programs specifically for non-traditional students with options for both full-time and part-time study.
  • Explore the entire campus. The admission representative that shows you around campus is going to highlight and showcase the most impressive buildings and features of the school. That’s a great start, but make sure you explore on your own, too. 
  • Take a look at the surrounding neighborhoods, check out parking availability, visit different buildings on campus, and talk to students wherever you go on campus. Do anything and everything you can think of to really get a feel for campus life.
  • If you plan to purchase a meal plan, eat a meal in the campus dining hall. This will give you an idea about the quality of food as well as the atmosphere, as you’ll be able to observe and talk with students.
  • Be sure to attend at least one class in the discipline you are interested in considering for a major in college. You’ll most likely need to arrange this through the admissions office prior to your visit.
  • Find out about graduation requirements, class sizes, etc. 
  • Arrange a meeting with a professor in your field of study before you arrive on campus. Ask for a college catalog and have a list of questions for the professor.  Make sure the professor understands any concerns or questions you have about being a non-traditional student on campus.
  • If you’re visiting multiple campuses, be sure to take lots of pictures and keep notes. This will be invaluable as you go through the decision making process. It’s not a bad idea to create some sort of matrix or comparison chart for your final considerations.
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