Visiting Colleges Checklist: Discover Your Dream HBCU

Last Updated on December 27, 2023

A small group of black high school students in t-shirts on a guided college campus tour after using their visiting colleges checklist.

Hello, future HBCU student! As you start the process of getting into college, the visiting colleges checklist is an important step that you shouldn't skip. It's especially important if you're thinking about HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).

 Why, you ask? Please let me explain!

When Virtual Meets Reality: The Power of College Visits

Even though we live in a digital world, there's something special about going to campus in person. You can take a virtual tour or go to an online information session, but that's not the same as being on the yard or in the library during finals week and soaking up the lively energy or the quiet intensity.

But why are college visits so important for people who want to go to an HBCU? HBCUs are like no other schools because of their culture, history, and diversity. And there's no better way to get a feel for this unique vibe than to visit.

The HBCU Factor

HBCUs have a long history that dates back to before the Civil War, when they gave African Americans the chance to go to college when other schools wouldn't. Today, they provide a supportive and rich environment that helps leaders and people who want to make a difference grow. Why wouldn't you want to see this black excellence for yourself?

Your Visiting Colleges Checklist Starts Here!

College visits require some planning, just like any other trip. 

Choosing the Right HBCU

Before making your college visits checklist, you'll need to choose which HBCUs to visit. Your choice should be based on things like academic programs, location, college campus size, and community.

Timing Is Everything

Ah, timing! When is the best time to visit a college? It depends! You should try to go when classes are in session so you can feel the buzz of the campus. But don't forget to think about how the seasons affect things. A busy fall afternoon or a quieter summer session can feel very different from a sunny spring day.

Ready, Set, Research!

Get a jump-start on your visit. Explore the college's website, talk to former students, and look at online resources. The goal is to get a general idea of what each HBCU has to offer.

Question Time!

This is your golden opportunity to get some answers! For that you need to ask the right questions. Here are a few for to consider for your college visit evaluation checklist:

  • Academics: What majors are popular at this HBCU? How accessible are professors?
  • Campus Life: What extracurricular activities are available? How are the dorms?
  • Financial Aid: What scholarships are available? What's the average aid package?
  • Student Support: What academic support services are offered? Is there a career services center?
  • Alumni Success: What are some notable alumni achievements? How active is the alumni network?

Your Ultimate Visiting Colleges Checklist

Now that we've discussed how to prepare for a college visit, let's dive into your essential visiting colleges checklist. Here's what you should aim to do on your visit:

  1. Physical Essentials: Don't forget to bring a campus map, directions, comfortable clothes, a notebook, a pen, and freed-up camera storage on your phone for lots of pictures and videos.
  2. Academic Exploration: Visit departments that interest you, sit in on classes, and talk to professors.
  3. Campus life: Take a look at the dorms, dining halls, fitness centers, and clubs and groups.
  4. Administrative Tips: Stop by the admissions office, financial aid office, or career services.
  5. Social Interactions: Go to an event on campus, talk to current students, and check out the town or city nearby.

So, Does Visiting a College Help You Get In?

Absolutely! Admissions officers like it when students show interest, and going to college is a great way to do that. Engage with faculty and students, watch how things work on campus, learn about the courses offered, and, most importantly, figure out how well the college fits with your own goals and values.

Reflecting on Your Visit

After your visit, take some time to reflect. Consider your first impressions, the academic and social fit, and the vibe you got from the campus. Remember, choosing a college is a major decision, and you want to get it right! After your visit be sure to fill out the University's college visit evaluation form or college visit scorecard.

Parents, We See You Too!

Parents, you have a big part to play in the college visit process for your child. Help them, but also give them room to make up their own minds. Also, be aware of the financial obligations that come with college, such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study.

To Sum It Up…

A visiting colleges checklist, especially for HBCU visits, are an essential part of the college admission process. With this comprehensive visiting colleges checklist, we hope your college visits will be smooth sailing!

For a printable version of the checklist, download our entire college visit checklist pdf. And remember, the visiting colleges checklist is your key to a successful college visit!

Join the Conversation!

We'd love to hear about your own experiences visiting HBCUs, so leave us a comment. And, for more college planning and admissions tips, don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter! Don't forget to download the entire visiting colleges checklist printable version.

Happy college visiting.

College Visit FAQs

What should I bring to a college visit?

Map, directions, comfortable clothes, a notebook, a pen, camera phone, and questions!

What should you do to prepare for a college visit?

Do research on the HBCUs, set up a visit, and get your questions ready!

What are 3 questions you should ask on a college visit?

Think about asking what majors are popular, what extracurricular activities are available, and what scholarships are out there.

What is important to do when visiting a college?

Interact with the campus community, observe campus life, understand academic offerings, and assess overall fit!

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