Why College Open Houses Are Awesome

September is known as the unofficial start of college application season. Suddenly everything becomes real: college visits, applications, gathering references, transcripts, and digital portfolios, all with the anticipation that over the next several months, you will be deciding on a college.

College open houses and admissions events can be a humongous help to high school students tackling the college search. To show just how much of a resource these kinds of events can be, let’s look at an undergraduate event that our partners at The New School in New York City are having later this month.

Facetime with the Important People

Especially for the arts, faculty members and current students can really help to shape your career. Having all these “important people” together in one place is a huge benefit an open house offers that a regular college visit might not. At Explore The New School, faculty members and current students will all be in one place, making all those important people extremely accessible to you.

Answers in Real Time

At a regular college visit, most of your questions will be addressed to your tour guide or admissions counselor. These people are extremely helpful and knowledgeable about the school and most likely the major you’re considering as well. However, there might be times when your questions are better answered by experts in that specific area. At an open house, financial aid representatives, department heads, and students themselves are basically there specifically to answer those questions.

Exploration of an Active Campus

The New School call their event Explore The New School because that’s exactly what you’ll be doing. An open house is a unique opportunity to really explore the campus while it is actively teeming with people. This gives you the chance to mingle with current students and try to really picture yourself on campus.

Discussion Groups

It may be tempting to skip group discussions or panels when you’re at an admissions event because there are so many other things going on, but you shouldn’t. When you’re in a group with other students who are considering that college, you have the benefit of learning from their questions. Group discussions and panels that encourage this kind of Q&A are a really valuable part of admissions events. Oftentimes universities will have a scheduled list of panels beforehand so that you can plan your day around the ones that are most beneficial to you.

College open houses, like Explore The New School, are really great resources as you move through your college search and application process. Be sure to check out as many as you can so that when it’s time to make those big decisions, you’ll feel really prepared.