So I have a little sister who is a senior in high school and this past weekend my dad and my sister went on a college visit.  Listening to my dad and my sister talk about their trip made me think about all the things that I had considered when looking at colleges.  So here is a little advice to seniors (or juniors if you’re like me and started early) who are looking at colleges.

It just so happened that my dad and sister were visiting during the school’s Homecoming week. It was really neat because there were all kinds of festivities going on like a parade and the marching band performances.  They also got to the football game while they were there.  I remember when I was visiting USC I also had the opportunity to go to a football game and walk around all the tailgaters.  I would really recommend planning your visit on a game day because it’s a great way to get a feel of the student life.

The other thing I had considered while looking at colleges was which school had the best program for my major.  It really helped me narrow down my list of colleges.  I looked at things like how many students would be in my particular major, what resources the school offered for getting help if I needed it, and also how many professors there were in my major.  One big turn off from another school I had considered was that one professor was responsible for helping all of the graduates in my major get an internship or job.  I felt that the odds of getting an internship or job were pretty slim if I only had one person to go to for help.  At USC, Viterbi actually has their own career services that specializes in finding internships and jobs just for engineering students.

I think the most important thing of all is to actually go visit the campus.  Even my sister admitted that she liked it a lot better than she thought she would.  I definitely think that walking around, taking a tour, and having the opportunity to talk to current students can give you better idea on what life would be like going to that particular school.  When I was in high school I actually went to a couple overnight events at the schools.  After all the presentations and speeches all the schools give, having the opportunity to stay overnight in a current student’s dorm allowed me to really get to know what it would be like to live at that school.