News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

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The Importance of college visits: The University of Alabama

Why are college visits important?… and my personal experience at the University of Alabama

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — As seniors around the United States begin and finish college applications — and many start receiving college acceptance letters — college visits become an important topic of discussion among families. Visiting different campuses is an essential part of the college search process. 

Why are college visits important?

College visits are important so that you can see what the college experience is like and see what the environment is like before deciding to go there.”

— Hayley Bergstrom, senior


Visiting colleges a student is interested in is extremely important in the decision process. It will help one become familiar with colleges of interest and allow a better understanding of what types of schools are the best fit. Especially when getting closer to a final decision, spending time on campus can give high school students a chance to get a real feel of the campus and environment, which can easily rule out options. 

“College visits are a great way for students to learn more about colleges that they’re already interested in to see if they’re a good fit, and also to meet the admissions rep who will be the first reader of their application,” Marianne Schaeffer, Los Al’s college and career counselor, said.

It’s necessary to schedule a campus visit because it’s an opportunity to get a firsthand view of life on campus, where prospective students will spend the next four years. Campus tours are also extremely insightful and allow questions to be asked to understand the campus and overall student life better — it even provides an opportunity to talk with current students at the college. Visiting a college in person may even answer certain questions right away such as diversity, as a visual of the current students will show a lot more than numbers and percentages. 

When to visit

I would love for our juniors to be doing college visits as well as our seniors.”

— Mrs. Schaeffer, college and career counselor

A question that might come to mind is when the appropriate time to visit is. Most students don’t begin visiting until the end of junior year and the beginning of senior year. It’s important to only visit a college that one is certain they are interested in, especially for out-of-state college visits, which can get extremely pricey. If visiting far out-of-state colleges, it’s best to only tour it once an acceptance letter has been received to avoid losing potentially valuable money on a wasted trip. In my personal opinion, it’s also extremely important to only visit during the school year when the college is in full session. This is crucial to get the full picture of what it’s like to be a student at a particular college.

My Experience With College Visits 

Over four days — Saturday, October 14 through Tuesday, October 17 — I visited Tuscaloosa, AL, home to the University of Alabama. The town of Tuscaloosa — T-Town, as college students and locals call it — is exactly what one would expect a college town to look like. The entire town is based around the University of Alabama, as college decor and “Roll Tide” signs can be seen in almost every business in town. The college town ambiance is typically desired among prospective students because the entire town revolves around the specific college and its students. College visits are the only way to truly experience the environment that surrounds a college, which is important as students will be spending half their time in the areas around campus. 

When I visited campus, I instantly fell in love with it. The overall atmosphere was so comforting and truly made me feel like I had found my home, which is a feeling that can never be truly experienced through a computer screen. When I drove through sorority row and fraternity lane, I practically drooled over the mansions that house many Greek life members. Having the opportunity to see the campus in person was extraordinarily beneficial for me as I was able to get a real feel of campus life.

On Monday, I had the pleasure of attending University Days, a visiting opportunity for interested individuals to get an in-depth understanding of the university and the Capstone. It’s a great way to learn more about programs, majors, student life, housing, and includes a wonderful tour of campus. Attending University days gave me amazing insight into student life on campus, as I was able to converse with several current students. After attending the event and visiting campus, I am currently committed to the University of Alabama and, as of right now, will be attending in Fall 2024. If I had not visited the campus, I wouldn’t have been able to fully commit, as there could’ve been a chance that I would dislike the school.

Beautiful “pomp” located in the front of a sorority house. Each sorority member spends hours “pomping” — making huge murals out of tiny paper balls — for homecoming week! (Olivia Cooks)


Visiting colleges is extremely important, especially when deciding whether or not to apply or put down an enrollment deposit once accepted. College visits are immensely beneficial because touring campuses and talking to current students can drastically affect decisions. If you’re debating whether or not to visit a college, just do it, you’ll thank me later. 

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About the Contributor
Olivia cooks
Olivia cooks, Staff Writer
Olivia is a senior at Los Al, and this is her first year as a staff writer in Journalism. She loves to hang out with friends, go to thrift shops in L.A., listen to music, and go to concerts in her free time. Olivia is interested in writing articles about sports and important events.
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