Thursday, September 17, 2015

Can’t Visit a Campus in Person? No Worries!

By Taiwo Oyedare
Student Ambassador 

Tennessee State University

Campus visits aren’t just opportunities for prospective students to get a feel for how a school is; they’re also opportunities for institutions to work their magic and convince visiting students to apply and enroll. But campus visits aren't cheap and can even cost a fortune for international students. Fortunately,
 there are several alternatives to the traditional campus visit. 
The first alternative is to contact professors through emails and phone calls to gain a sense of how classes are usually held and what kind of curriculum to expect. This method is especially helpful as visiting a campus in person doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to meet a specific faculty member. Sending an email is an effective and convenient means of communication and can help establish a rapport with faculty.

Another alternative is meeting with college representatives locally. Many schools have admissions representatives who travel to education fairs and other networking events. Just because a university is 4,000 miles away doesn’t mean you can’t have a face-to-face conversation with an admissions representative. I once attended an education fair in Nigeria where I interacted with admissions representatives from schools across the globe. This experience taught me about each university's culture and different scholarship opportunities.

Campus visits are great for a lot of things, but learning about scholarships and tuition waivers isn’t necessarily one of them. Prospective students who visit schools are sometimes asked to go online for scholarship details and most scholars, teaching assistants, and research assistants that I met had to apply online through their university's financial aid webpage.

Finally, check for any student-hosted blogs on the school's website. Finding out what current students think of their school through these blogs can be extremely informative and can be helpful in deciding which school to apply to.

Taiwo Oyedare is a master’s candidate in computer and information systems engineering at Tennessee State University, where he is a member of the class of 2016. He is from Nigeria.

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