Helpful Hints, Part 1: Campus Visit Tips

College Visits: Insights with Mitch Warren, Purdue Director of Admissions

When my daughter Sarah was a senior in high school, we, like most other families, were touring colleges. Being in the higher-ed biz, I was surprised my emotions; excited for her, a little sad for me.

One day, we were on a campus tour at a small(ish) private university, led by an outstanding tour guide who seemed to personally know everybody. Suddenly, Sarah said under her breath, “Let’s get outta here. I don’t want to go to a college where everyone will know me and my business.”

Ironically, that college tour was one of the most important ones we took – it provided clarity. Coming from a small high school, Sarah was ready for a change and a challenge.

Campus visits do what no college website can ever do – give students a glimpse of what campus life is really like. So as you are making plans to check out different colleges, here are some things to consider.

When to visit?

If you can, visit when campus in in full swing during the academic year. But if that’s not possible, a Saturday or in the summer will still give you the campus flavor.

Official tour or hang out?

Do both. An organized tour will allow you to understand process, logistics, dates and deadlines and all the nitty gritty. Hanging out helps you get a feel for the environment.

On tour and beyond

Ask questions that aren’t about facts and figures you can find on their website. And don’t judge a university by just one tour guide or the weather on the day. After your visit is over, everybody should compare notes. Mom may have noticed something that perhaps the student didn’t. Remember, you can always visit again.

I am pleased to say Sarah finished her undergraduate degree and is continuing her education at a university that is five times smaller than Purdue. She says it feels just right.

Pictuwarren-familyred: The Warren family

Sarah, Purdue (undergrad) and Wake Forest University (first-year law student)

Mitch, Ball State (undergrad) and George Mason (masters)

Seth, Indiana State University (freshman)

College Spotlight 1


College: Trine University

Author: Brittani S.

Admissions Site:

I heard about Trine because I had a friend who was  planning on attending. When I started to look more into Trine, I fell in love with the size. On my visits, I realized very quickly how welcoming this campus is. At my high school, we were all a big family. I still get that similar vibe here, and Trine has truly become my second home. “It’s a Trine thing.”

Advice from a College Freshman, Part 1

* The class of 2016 already has knowledge to share with our current students. Look for wisdom from them to be featured in our Guest Blog section throughout the year. Thank you, Sami, for sharing your story.

How Did I Get Here?

By: Sami Katrakatra

My name is Sami Katra. I am now a freshman at Marian University and am a Chatard alumna. I love going to school here and the struggle I went through my senior year of high school was so worth it. My struggle began with the fact that I took my SAT later than everybody else so I had a lot of stress with all the deadlines for college. It was bad and it got to the point where I had other requirements from Marian in order to be accepted. My scores from the first SAT were low and I had to take it again. They were a lot better but I had to write a paper to Marian explaining why they should accept me and explain why my scores came in late. I even thought of other options rather than college. Not that not going to college is necessarily bad, but I knew it was my path. So, some advice: in order to know what school you are going to for sure and get accepted by Christmas, take the SAT or ACT early! Take the test as many times as you can! The more times you take the test, the better scores you get and the easier it is to get in to college.

I think Chatard did an awesome job of preparing me for college. (more…)

College Visits For Juniors

Juniors are allowed 2 college visit days during their junior year. Parents should call the main office to report the absence as a college visit.  Documentation from the college admission office that you attended the visit must be turned in to the main office upon return from the visit.

Register for official college visits through the college’s website.