BY ANNABELLE DANIELS-ROSENBERG
Visiting a college allows students to ask questions about student life, go on a tour, attend information sessions, visit the dorms and learn everything they need to know about that particular school. As college applications are underway, some students at the Bay said they are visiting colleges all across the country. Senior Sydnie Winder recently visited Tulane University, as she is preparing to make a decision about where she will attend college.
“I have always been interested in Tulane and the culture of New Orleans so I decided I should visit and see what it is like,” Winder said. “The main benefit was being able to see the campus firsthand.”
Broward Advisors for Continuing Education (BRACE) adviser Shari Bush said she encourages students to visit colleges to assist them when deciding where to apply.
“I think it is important for students to visit colleges so they can get the vibe of the campus and see if it is a good fit for them,” Mrs. Bush said.
All out-of-state colleges require “why” essays as part of the application process in which the applicant explains why they are applying to that school. Winder referenced her visit when writing the “why” part of the Tulane essay to explain more about her interest in the school.
“I used my visit as a way to explain why I want to go there and be emerged in the culture that I saw when I visited,” Winder said. “Because I grew up in a city with little culture and diversity, I discussed how I could experience something new at Tulane.”
Sophomore Ike Grapin said he is starting to visit colleges such as the University of Michigan now, so when the time comes to apply, he will have seen and experienced many schools he is interested in.
“When applying to colleges, I will definitely think of the schools I have visited,” Grapin said. “[University of] Michigan was a school that at first seemed that I wouldn’t like it, but I really enjoyed being at the school.”
Grapin said he got a feel for the life of a student attending the University of Michigan, which helped him appreciate the campus more.
“When I went to Michigan, I went on a tour of the campus and a football game the next day,” Grapin said. “I got to visit with my cousin, who is applying there next year, so it was neat to experience the school from a student’s point of view.”
Mrs. Bush said she stresses the importance of attending college when she discusses the pros and cons of each school with students. She thinks this is necessary before choosing a college, as a student’s future school plays a big role in their life.
“Nothing is off limits when visiting,” Mrs. Bush said. “This is an excellent opportunity to see and learn everything they need to know about the school.”
Not only does visiting help with applications and deciding, but Winder said it also shows students a new perspective of the school and their future.
“I think I want to go to Tulane more now because I saw how beautiful it is and what experiences I could have if I attended,” Winder said. “I also learned about the different majors I could pursue there which made me excited for my future.”
Grapin said he learned a lot about himself along with the school he visited and is now determined to work harder than ever.
“After my visit, I learned that you need to work hard for everything and earn it,” Grapin said. “[The University of] Michigan is not easy to get into and it was an experience that motivated me to be a better student.”