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The Ultimate Guide to Campus Visits

Two students posing with a picture frames on a college campus visit at Ferris State University in Big Rapids MI

A campus visit is a huge step on your journey to selecting the right college. College tours are where you learn about the campus atmosphere, engage with students and faculty, visualize your future, and generally check the vibes. Whether you're exploring a large university or a smaller college, each visit offers a glimpse into what college life will be like on that campus.

Campus Visit Basics

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Campus tours and visits come in many forms, from open houses and guided tours to individual explorations. These visits allow you to experience the campus beyond brochures and websites. At Ferris State University, you can participate in a variety of visit types to learn about  campus community and its resources.

Campus Visit Costs

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Most college visits are entirely free, providing an accessible way for you to explore different campuses. At Ferris State we only need you to register online to let us know you're planning to visit - we'll even buy you lunch while you're here. At other schools you may need to cover meal expenses, but most universities strive to make visits as accommodating as possible. 

Student and a faculty member at a campus visit

Why Campus Visits are Important

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Nothing beats seeing it all for yourself.

Visiting a campus offers invaluable insights that can't be captured through virtual tours or photos. This is your chance to feel the campus energy, see the facilities, and meet people who might become your mentors, friends, and part of your future network. This firsthand experience is crucial in deciding if a college fits your academic and personal goals. Most students find a campus visit to be one of the biggest deciding factors when making their college choice.

Types of Campus Visits

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There are many different types of campus visits. At Ferris State, we offer quick daily visits, unique opportunities to shadow a current student, Dawg Days where we open the entire campus to you, and much, much more. Here a few of the common college campus visit types you'll find:

Student working in a lab setting

Guided Tours

Discover the campus through the eyes of current students or staff, visiting key locations like libraries, labs, and living spaces.

Student working in a lab setting

Information Sessions

Learn about admissions, financial aid, and student services, gaining a clearer picture of the college's offerings.

Student working in a lab setting

Faculty Meetings

Discuss your academic interests with faculty members, providing a deeper understanding of your potential major or department.

Student working in a lab setting

Campus Resources

Explore the support systems in place, from career services to health and wellness centers, to gauge how well the college supports student success.

Student working in a lab setting

Classroom Experiences

Attend classes or special lectures to get a feel for the academic environment and teaching style at the college.

How to Prepare for Your Visit

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What to Wear

Go for something comfortable and practical, there's a good chance you'll be doing a lot of walking around campus. Make sure to check the weather ahead of time since you will also be walking outside. At Ferris State, we encourage visitors to wear what makes them feel comfortable and ready to explore.

Questions to Consider

  • Inquire about student-to-faculty ratios, class sizes, and teaching methods.
  • Ask about opportunities outside the classroom, including internships, research projects, and study abroad programs.
  • Learn about campus life, from housing options to clubs and organizations.
  • Understand the support services available to help you grow and thrive.
  • Explore career preparation resources and alumni networks to assess how the college supports students in achieving their post-graduation goals.

A student on a college campus visit

After Your Visit

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A campus visit is more than a tour. It's a glimpse into your possible future. Take notes, ask questions, and imagine yourself as part of the community. Consider how the campus aligns with your goals, values, and interests, and whether you can see yourself thriving there. If you don't feel like you learned everything you need to know, contact a recruiter or the admissions office. At Ferris State, you can meet one-on-one with any of our recruiters whenever you have a question.

Following your campus visit, review your notes and impressions. Consider reaching out to admissions counselors with any follow-up questions and begin to narrow down your college choices. Remember, the goal is to find a college where you'll not only succeed academically but also grow personally and professionally.

While Ferris State University offers a great example of what to look for and expect during a campus visit, the most important factor is finding a college that feels like home to you. Each visit is a step towards your future, filled with opportunities, challenges, and the chance to discover where you belong.