Why Visiting a College is Crucial to Your Final Decision

You can only read so much about a university.


Alma Harrison

Visiting the University of Arkansas, senior Alma Harrison sees Old Main, the oldest building on campus. She made the trip to Fayetteville on National Testing Day.

Alma Harrison, Editor in Chief

On this year’s National Testing Day, I had the privilege of traveling to Fayetteville, Arkansas to visit the University of Arkansas. Not only did I fall in love with the campus, but I learned a lot about what to look for and expect from college visits.
I had registered to take a guided tour through the admissions office, and I was led by current students on a campus tour and a dorm tour with an honors college meeting in between. I was able to get a feeling for the – dare I say – vibe of the students and the campus overall. That’s something I couldn’t have understood by just browsing their website.
My campus tour guide was a senior, and she led us all over the campus and added tidbits about events that go on in different seasons, like sorority bid day in the Chi Omega Greek orthodox theater, and the best places to hammock, which is the trees outside the Honors College that were planted specifically to be the perfect distance apart for hammocks. That’s something I couldn’t have learned by just browsing their website.
The Honors College meeting was led by a graduate. He gave a presentation about all of the general information and requirements, like having a minimum composite ACT score of 28, but also of the lesser known perks of the college, like having a rather exclusive study space for when the library gets busy and having several easy opportunities – more than the average student – to earn money for study abroad trips. The presenter said he was able to travel abroad several times That’s something I couldn’t have known by just browsing their website.
The two guides for the dorm tour showed the group two dorms: Maple and Futrall. They told us about the general layout of the dorms in each hall, and also showed us an example room that was decorated. They told us about what the resident advisors do, like how they can set up dorm-wide events. We also got to see the lounge areas of the dorms while students were in there, so we were able to get an idea of how the space is used during the school year. That’s something I couldn’t have seen by just browsing their website.
You can only understand, learn, know, and see so much from reading about a college on their website or by visiting social media accounts. If you’re truly considering a college, you need to plan a time to take a tour of the campus and the school for your desired major. It’s been said several times before, but you will know the moment you walk on campus if you would fit there or not. You will be able to see yourself walking to classes or hanging out in your dorm; if you can’t, that’s okay. You know that’s not your school, and you move on to the next one. But you can’t know until you actually get up and go.