The Importance of College Visits


A chemistry building in Stanford University. Picture taken by Sneha Thokkadam.

Sneha Thokkadam, Opinion Editor

For many of us seniors, the terrifying yet exciting time has come to start applying to colleges. But exactly how essential are college visits when it comes to the application process?

For me and many others, it’s a deciding factor in determining what college best suits us.

I visited both UCLA and UC Irvine this summer. Visiting multiple universities in a day, especially ones located in SoCal, is something I wouldn’t recommend.The weather was around 100 degrees, and my family and I were rushing from one place to the next. But my experiences at each college were actually really informative. I had a fun time exploring the campuses and learning what they had to offer. Visiting also gave me an insight on the personalities of each school. After reflecting on my visits to UC Irvine and UCLA and researching each one, I realized UC Irvine wasn’t a good fit for me, in both location and choice of major. College visits helped me narrow down my choices and get a feel of whether I belonged or not.

Seniors Amrutha Kalle and Jordan Mangskau also agree that college visits are an important part of the college application process. Kalle, who visited UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, Caltech, UC Berkeley and Stanford, said, “Every single guide that I had was very helpful and they would answer all questions”. Kalle felt that the tour guides helped relieve some of the fears she had about attending college. Jordan Mangskau, who visited UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced, CalPoly San Luis Obispo and UOP, said, “I learned a lot more information[on campus] than on the college sites.”

So if any of you want to visit the college of your dreams, go ahead and do it! It will greatly help you in the long run, and you’ll learn how a college functions. If you don’t know how to register for a college visit, simply search on a college’s website for the words “campus tour” and register or go to the Career Center for more information. Get exploring and learn what a college is all about!