College Visiting Tips and Tricks


One of the many buildings at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where senior Michaela Elsen has committed to for the fall. Photo courtesy of: Sjrplscjnky at English Wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

By Julia Kelbaugh, Reporter

College visits, or even thinking about college, can be stressful for many high school students, but there are tips and tricks to allow the process to go smoothly.

Wilkes University’s campus is the university where business teacher Jocelyn Ruppert, got her masters degree at. Photo courtesy of: By WilkesU [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
Jocelyn Ruppert is the business education teacher at Susquehannock  who helps with future plans and has some advice for students.

“You are not expected to know anything,” said Ruppert. “Colleges know that you are there to fact find; however, I would look at information online about the school and come up with a list of questions you have that they may answer.”
Ruppert feels that you should, but do not have to, research before going, and has a few suggestions.
“Some questions you can ask while visiting are: are freshmen or any students allowed to have cars on campus,” said Ruppert. “Also, do they accept AP credit, are students allowed to live off campus, and do they have a course sequence guide for specific majors.”

Senior Michaela Elsen has already visited many colleges and committed to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“I think what separates a good college from a great college is, it depends on the person,” said Elsen. “A great school should have awards for their departments, not just the school and what it is known for.”

Elsen chose IUP ultimately because of the awards of the program but feels that people should keep their options open when in search of a college.

“I’d give myself more options,” said Michaela. “I wish that I had visited more than one college, even though I knew right away that IUP was it.”

Sophomore Noel Laven has started visiting colleges like Messiah, Loyola, Towson, and Millersville earlier and also has a sibling who is in college.

“The college visits I have been on have been really helpful,” said Laven. “It helps narrow down the list and see the college in action.”

The well known covered bridge at the campus of Messiah College, where sophomore Noel Laven’s brother is attending. Photo courtesy of: Badagnani at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Laven has advice for people looking at colleges or beginning research into visiting colleges.

“I think you should start early,” said Laven. “I feel like people think they have a lot of time, but really it is not much time.”

College visits are an essential part of finding out your future, but with research and help from others, the process can be less stressful.