Having an admission representative visit your high school is a great opportunity to not only learn more about the institution itself, but also interact with someone from the admission staff—maybe even the very person who will be reading your admission and application file. Below are some answers given by Emory’s admission staff who talk to hundreds of high school students each year.
What should I do at a high school visit?
“You know you’ve signed up to visit with a certain school so do your research. Have thoughtful questions prepared. Be enthusiastic about the visit—even if it’s in the early morning hours. The school visit—even more than the college fair—stays in the memory of the counselor.” —Malisha Richardson
“This is an excellent and appropriate time for students to ask questions concerning the review process. You will be able to gain meaningful insight if you ask questions on what our admission staff typically look for. I really appreciate it when students are not just concerned with “just getting in.” Students should use the visit to ask about life on campus, what Atlanta offers, and what our graduates gain from the Emory experience.”
“DO: Prepare ahead of time for the schools you would like to speak with. Research their programs and get a sense of their areas of strength. DON’T: Be rude, be on your phone, or ask me what my average Test Scores and GPA is. This tells me you have not taken many initiatives to research. All of that information is available online.” —William Segura
“Given the smaller, more personal nature of the school visit, I think it’s especially important to follow up! Be it a list of questions or just a quick Thank You note, this is a wonderful opportunity to build a relationship with counselors and avail yourself of their knowledge and support.” —Joel Dobben
What should I ask at a high school visit?
“Ask a college questions which help you understand the differences between academic structure (majors, programs) and intellectual life (curiosity, risk-taking, learning/teaching styles). Career planning and true life of the mind coexist well when you are thoughtful and sincere. Discovering how students at a college use resources, are supported to think in an interdisciplinary way, and how they encourage one another are good questions too. ” —Scott Allen
“Think about things that are important to you. Values, majors, minors, campus culture, food, etc. Once you have that information, think about how that relates to your experience on a college campus and if you can see yourself at that specific university for 4 years.”
“What do you think are some of the most prominent characteristics of your school’s undergraduate community? I see your school has great faculty, but what kind of access to undergraduates have to these faculty members? Can undergrads take classes with them or do research/an internship with them? What’s a unique or quirky aspect of your school that high school students may not know about.” —Farish Jerman
“What is Emory all about? What do you think makes Emory unique? Do you believe an Emory education can increase a person’s quality of life? Students who ask these deeper, nuanced questions understand how Emory is unique within higher education and what that means long-term.” —Olivia Wise
Many counselors suggested having well-researched, articulate questions ready to ask. While we do have some suggestions, the bottom line is to take your time to truly reflect on your college search process. Consider what information would make a difference in your decision making and ask the right questions that will give you the answers you need to make your decision. These are just a few ideas, and we hope it helps you prepare for your upcoming visit with Emory University as well as other institutions. Feel free to comment with other questions or ideas, and best of luck as you continue your college search process.
Office of Undergraduate Admission