Tips & Tricks for Navigating a College Rep Visit
The temperatures are dropping, the leaves are changing colors, it’s that time of year again! College representatives from across the United States will soon be coming to your high school to tell you all about their institutions. And, while you know that you’re interested in certain colleges or universities, you’re not sure what to do during these visits. If this sounds like you, keep reading!
Do a little research.
It doesn’t hurt to do a little research prior to the visit. Making sure that the size of the college or university, distance from home, etc., is all something that you’re comfortable with. Also confirming that they have the program that you’re interested in studying is super important!
Do fill out the contact card.
Some representatives will hand out contact cards for you to fill out prior to their presentation. Go ahead and fill it out if you’re not already signed up for their emails. It can help you get the information that you need and it helps them stay in contact with you during the application process. If you’re not already signed up for Illinois’s emails, I would recommend creating a myIllini account, which will also let you know if we’re ever going to be in your area.
Do introduce yourself.
Either before or after the representative gives their presentation, be sure to introduce yourself. If time allows, you can also talk to them about your program of interest and about what their institution has to offer to you.
Do ask questions.
This is so important! I would recommend coming up with a list of at least five questions that can be asked of any representative that you meet with. You might even want to come up with more than five, just in case your questions get answered during their presentation. Also, be sure to write down any questions that you come up with during their presentation.
Do make notes afterwards.
Come up with a list of things that you did and didn’t like about the college or university while it’s fresh in your mind. If you try to do this later on, the presentations and visits could start running together and you could forget specific things that you really enjoyed.
Don’t talk to your friends.
Save the chatter for afterwards! We want students to talk about our institutions, but if you’re talking while we’re presenting, it can be very distracting and you might miss some very important information.
Don’t check your phone.
I know some high schools don’t allow their students to have their phones on or out during the school day, but I also know that those rules aren’t always enforced. Be sure to keep your phone on silent/vibrate and out of sight.
Don’t ask inappropriate questions.
Again, I believe this is common sense, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate that you should be asking college related questions. Asking questions that aren’t related to the college/university or the application process does not leave a good impression on the college’s representative, and it also doesn’t help you make an informed decision on where you want to go to college.
So, go ahead and ask your guidance counselor about which colleges and universities are coming to your high school this fall and start studying up!