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Tips For A Great Campus Visit: Indiana Private College Week, July 18-22
Updated July 12, 2016 10:26 AM | Filed under: Education
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - During Private College Week July 18-22, students and their parents can learn about the unique personality of each of Indiana's 31 private colleges and universities through campus tours, informational sessions and conversations with current students and staff. All activities are free.

To make the most out of the campus visit, here's a simple 5-point checklist - from why you'll want to arrive early to what kinds of questions to ask. A complete list of participating campuses, event schedules, and registration information is available at

The Princeton Review cites campus visits as the "most important part of your research" when determining which institution to attend. Students are better prepared to decide what university is right for them after they know how the campus feels and how they fit into the picture.

Although Indiana's private colleges encourage and welcome visitors throughout the year, this concentrated week offers students an opportunity to visit as many campuses as they would like without missing school.

And as an added bonus, visitors between 16 and 20 years old may enter to win an Apple iPad Mini or a Microsoft Surface at each campus visited. Entry forms and rules will be available at each school.

Independent Colleges of Indiana serves as the collective voice for the state's 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. ICI member institutions enroll more than 100,000 students, approximately 17 percent of all undergraduates statewide, and annually produce 32 percent of all bachelor's degrees in Indiana. Information about ICI is available at

Campus visits are vital to choosing the right school. Make sure yours is perfect with this simple checklist.

Don't get lost.

This starts with knowing where you are supposed to go. Tours can start from student unions or admission buildings, so scout out where to park online first. Most schools have directions there to make things easier.

A GPS can only get you so far when it comes to college campuses. Schools have windy roads throughout the academic buildings and residence halls, and the addresses are not always obvious.

Ask a student for help. They will be able to point you to the right (and quickest) path.

Be early.

This is a good tip for life in general. Being early for a tour will guarantee you a good spot near the tour guide, which means you will be able to hear them as they walk backward while giving you the scoop on the campus.

The few minutes before you leave for a tour also gives you a chance to introduce yourself and ask some personal questions about their college experience. If you give them a sense of who you are and your interests, odds are they will tailor the tour to suit you.

Ask good questions.

Ask what you really want to know, not the facts you can find online. (Hint: this means do some research and find those facts first.) Inquire about how the school eases the transition from high school to college. What is there to do on the weekends, in the neighborhood or during breaks? Ask about your intended major, alumni success, a club you're interested in or studying abroad.

Do not ever leave without asking the tour guide, professor or admission counselor how and why they ended up at that school. Watch their faces. You will hear about what attracted them to the college and university and see their excitement about the place they now call home.

Hang out on campus.

After the tour, visit the bookstore, hang out at the campus café or pick a bench outside. You can debrief with your parents and get a feel for the vibe of the campus.

You might even meet some students. Most times they will be more than happy to chat about the school, unless they are on their way to class. Meeting future classmates can help you picture yourself attending an institution. It will give you a sense of who your friends will be.

Enjoy yourself.

A college visit should be fun. It is basically taking a school for a test drive. Do not stress about your application or anything else. Just soak up what it is like to be on campus. That is the most important goal of the day.

Take advantage of any opportunity to visit a school.

For example, Indiana Private College Week is coming soon! From July 18 to 22, students can visit any of the 31 private, nonprofit schools in the state for free. Plus, you can enter to win an Apple iPad Mini or a Microsoft Surface.

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