What to Do After College Visits
You have just come back home after making your college visits. All the planning and traveling, all the events and activities, and now, it is all over. Right?
Not exactly. You should be very proud of the fact that you have completed a major milestone in your search for colleges. Still, now is the time to make the most of your trip by doing some important follow-through.
Review Your College Visits
Hopefully, you have taken time while on each university's campus to write notes about your experience. Reviewing these notes will be important when it comes time to pick a college.
Things to do now that you are back at home:
- Look over what you have written and try to summarize your general impression of each university.
- Decide how your experience has increased or decreased your interest in the schools.
- Update the list of schools in which you have interest while your college visits are still fresh in your mind.
- If you are planning additional college visits, consider the activities on your trip that were most effective in helping you evaluate schools.
Follow Up On Your College Visits
You can use your notes from your trip to create a to-do list for each school. Follow-up is important after college visits because it is the professional, polite thing to do and because it can help you in your applications. It is likely that you have had conversations with a large number of campus representatives:
- Staff in the admissions office who spoke with you about the school.
- College students who answered your questions or hosted you on campus.
- Faculty who provided information about academic majors.
- Coaches who met with you about athletic opportunities.
Sending thank-you notes or emails to people who gave you their time is an appropriate step for you to take. The thank-you notes and emails should be grammatically-sound, cleanly-written, professional, and genuine. It is a good idea to remind the recipient who you are and for what you are thanking them.
If an admissions officer has invited you to do so, you may send questions you have about the university that were not answered elsewhere, like the website or in other college materials. You might also provide additional materials or updates related to issues you discussed during your college visits.
In your communications, you can try to develop a relationship with admissions and continue to demonstrate your interest in the university. However, it is important that you avoid overwhelming staff with emails or phone calls beyond what is appropriate. Typically, two or three personal exchanges during the course of your application is about right, but you will need to judge this based on your individual circumstances.
A Final Thank-You
If a parent, advisor, or someone else has been important in your college visits (by funding your trip, helping you in the planning, or going with you,) consider writing that person a thank-you note as well. Hopefully, your trip was an invaluable part of your search experience. Letting that person know your appreciation is the polite thing to do, and it shows how serious you are about finding the right school.