Campus Visits: The Super Bowl of Choosing a College

The National Football League (NFL) teams kick off their playing season beginning on Labor Day and continue through the playoffs in January. By the time of the annual Super Bowl competition 256 games will have been played and the two best teams in the League will vie for the Championship.

For NFL teams, the journey to the Super Bowl is a super-clean, well-defined process. Two teams play. One wins. Repeat. The competition among colleges to enroll members of the next freshman class, while just as fierce, is not as structured, yet each college is competing with the last college a prospective student visited.

For colleges, every campus visit is the “Super Bowl” of college visits.

So, given that there are no hard and fast rules dictating exactly what will happen during the two or three hours spent on each of your campus visits, colleges are free to create the best campus visit experience they can. Some will do it differently — and better — than others:

Carroll University

Touchscreen technology in use for visiting Carroll UniversityCarroll University has made campus visits uber-personal. So personal in fact, guests are welcomed not only by admission staff, but also by their custom campus visit technology. Students visiting Carroll sign in by touching their name on a large, wall-mounted display and from there what they can expect to see and do is all laid out for them in an agenda that is also sent to the student’s smartphone.

University of New Haven

UNH_-_with_shirts Explore UNH iphone and Android mobile app

Visitors to the University of New Haven, located in West Haven, Connecticut, can expect a warm welcome and the gift of a T-shirt following the information session. Don’t be surprised if refreshments are served or water bottles are offered.

Explore UNH” is available free from iTunes and Google Play. It was developed for the University of New Haven by Smart College Visit, Inc.

Special things some colleges have done to make guests feel welcome during campus visits:

  • Schedule meetings with key professors or coaches.
  • Allow a high school student to attend a college class.
  • Offer a free overnight stay in the dorm.
  • Invite students and parents to eat in the dining hall as guests of the university.
  • Reimburse costs to travel to campus.

What’s been your experience? Has a college gone out of the way to make you feel welcome? Who wins the Super Bowl of college campus visits in your life? Share your college visit story with us!




Z. Kelly Queijo

Author: Z. Kelly Queijo

Kelly is founder of Smart College Visit and Smart College Consulting. When she's not creating content for the blog or clients, tweeting, or hosting #CampusChat, she's planning her next mobile move.

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