Take the tour, do the group meeting, and make sure the admissions office knows you were there. But after you are done with the planned phase of your visit, leave your parents at the campus coffee shop and walk around alone. How do you feel? Do the buildings and students look like places and people you would like to be part of? Are people smiling at you as you go by? Do the students look happy? How do you feel? Can you imagine a fun rainy day here? If the going gets tough were you to attend this school, would the physical surroundings– the trees, the sidewalks, the view, the architecture– would they provide perspective and solace? Would they remind you, on a hypothetical future dark day, “You belong here. This is your place.”?
For me, the most important placement factor— after “fit” has been established and a solid list developed— is this one, which cannot be measured, and which only a student in touch with her or his feelings can judge.
Sarah C. Reese, Informed Educational Solutions
- Creating College Lists and Navigating Admission Decisions (myiesolutions.wordpress.com)
- The Choice Blog: Visions of a Perfect College (thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com)