College Open House Tips: How to Maximize Your Campus Visit

Last Updated on May 25, 2023

Four smiling prospective HBCU students visit the campus of Claflin University during a college open house.
Photo via Claflin University.

If you are searching for the perfect school, a college open house can help you make the right choice. During a college open house, you can take a tour of the school, talk with faculty and staff members, and set up an in-person appointment with your admissions and financial aid counselors. With multiple activities to choose from, you can create your own schedule and tailor your visit to your personal interests and goals.

Unfortunately, many prospective students do not take advantage of the opportunities that are available to them during a college open house. Whether you’re trying to pick a major, navigate the admissions process, or learn more about your favorite schools, these tips can help you make the most of your visit!

Choose The Right Campus Tour

Every semester, HBCUs hold open houses to give prospective students the opportunity to learn more about their programs. As one of the largest on-campus admissions events, each school will have multiple tours that you can take during your visit. If you are trying to learn as much about a campus as possible, you may have a hard time choosing the right combination of tours and activities.

Instead of trying to take every tour available, you should focus on visiting the academic departments that have majors that you are interested in. If you want to live in on-campus housing, you should also take a tour of their dorms, dining halls, and student recreation center. Students who plan on playing sports should spend time in the school’s athletic facilities to make sure that they will have everything they need to be successful in college.

Talk To Faculty

During a college open house, you can talk to faculty and staff from multiple departments to learn more about the school and your future major. This is the perfect time to ask questions about their department, college classes, and the experiences that you will have if you attend that university.

A college open house gives professors and coaches the opportunity to meet with prospective students and look for candidates that would be a great fit for their department. You want to make a good first impression, so make sure that you think about the questions that you will ask beforehand and choose one or two achievements that you can talk about so that they will remember you.

Visit Admissions & Financial Aid

You may have talked with your admissions advisor over the phone, but this is the perfect time to meet them face-to-face. Sit down with your advisor and go over your application to make sure that you have everything you need to move forward with the school. Your financial aid counselor can also give you information about the FAFSA as well as any scholarship or grant opportunities that may be available to you; you should bring a list of questions with you so that you can make the most of your meeting.

Make Friends

You will meet other prospective students during your visit, and you should take the time to get to know them. If you end up at the same university, you will already have friends on-campus! You should also take the time to talk to current students because they will give you information about the school that you will not learn from anyone else.

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