The opportunity to experience life as a student on campus whether for a day or for an entire weekend can help perspective applicants decide whether a college or university is right for them. So:

Tip #1 How to Prepare

Despite the many resources available to high school juniors and seniors forFellow students posing deciding on where to apply for college, some students struggle when determining whether to apply to schools that are on the cusp of their short list. For students who find themselves in this position, “the shadow a student day” that many colleges offer may be a useful tool for a incoming Freshman College Student

  • Call and schedule your visit ahead of time. Most schools require or certainly appreciate several weeks’ notice before scheduling a shadowing day. So be sure to know in advance when you would like to visit the campus.
  • Check for designated days. Some colleges and universities have designated days or weekends for shadowing experiences. Before contacting the undergraduate admission office to schedule a date, look online to see if the school has designated days or if you could arrange a visit whenever you choose.
  • Write down questions. Before you arrive, compile a list of questions that address any lingering concerns you may have about the school. Those items that are preventing you from sending in an application or anything else to that effect. You might even brainstorm with your classmates or your parents to think about additional questions that you should ask. An additional resource might be your high school counselor or counseling center to see if they have any ideas of things that you should ask about.
  • Make arrangements to visit departments. If possible, request a visit with academic departments that interest you most and ask for a host who shares at least one of your academic or extracurricular interests. You might even ask to meet the dean of the that college or some of the professors that teach in the area of your interests.

Tip #2 What to Expect On Your Tour

  • Attend with the right frame of mind. Having the right mind set is one of the best ways to maximize your showing experience. Treat it as part of your college search, rather than a fun weekend or day away from school. Make the most of the experience by not only asking questions of the student you are shadowing but any other students that you have the opportunity to engage in a conversation about the school.
  • Activities. Some schools have multiple activities planned. While others may simply pair you with a current undergraduate student. Attend as many activities as possible to ascertain the quality of student life while on your visit. While visiting you should explore what college life on campus should be like if you decide to attend that school. Ask to do things that you enjoy doing now to see if it will meet your expectations. Also look for things that you might be able to bring to the school where you can be a contributor rather than just a user of the facilities and life experience.

There are certain things that you can fully expect from your shadowing experience.

  • You will be assigned to an undergraduate host.
  • You will attend at least one class.
  •  You will certainly visit a dorm to see what day to day undergraduate life is like.
  • You will likely eat in the dining hall.
  • You may also be able to visit a specific department or office to speak with designated administrators who can answer any questions that your host cannot.

These are just a few tips in regards to shadowing a student.

Compliments of Firedream College Planning. To see video, go to





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