It’s the New Year. Now What?

You may be looking at the second half of the year as a senior ready to graduate, or as an underclassman looking to continue your strong academic career. No matter the circumstances, the new year presents a host of new opportunities for you.

Seniors: “I already submitted my applications. I’m all done!”

Not so fast. Just because your applications are complete does not mean you can kick your feet up and wait for the mail carrier.

Now that you have completed your Common Application and all of your supplements, you should visit as many of the colleges on your list as possible. The school visit is important for two reasons. The first is that only by stepping foot on campus will you be able to get a feel for the school in a way that you cannot through the screen of your laptop.

Secondly, colleges and universities are often most interested in the students who are most interested in them. By touring campus, attending an information session, and meeting with an admissions counselor, you are showing sincere interest. If you were an admissions counselor reviewing mountains of applications, would you rather accept the student who has never visited and may have only checked off your school because it was free on the Common Application or the student who went out of their way to visit the school?

Underclassmen: “I have plenty of time before I need to worry about college!”

The more that you are able to do now, the less you’ll have to complete next year.

Whether you will be applying next year or three years from now, one of the best ways to move through your college process is to visit as many schools as possible. You may already think that you know where you want to study. You might even have an ideal school in mind. However, having just one school on your list will not work (even those who apply Early Decision must have others in mind).

SEEDS’ college tours are always a great place to start, but you should also do your best to visit as many schools on your own as possible. The more schools that you are able to visit, the more you will know before it comes time to start building an application list. While visiting family over the holidays, take the chance to tour a nearby campus. It isn’t important yet that a school be a perfect match for you. What is important is that you get used to the process of visiting and learning what is important to you based on your early experiences on campus.

For a more detailed breakdown of what to do and when to do it, please visit these grade specific calendars: