It’s a really good idea to visit colleges before you apply because their websites can all start to look and sound the same. Nothing will give you the sense of what it will actually be like to live on a college campus (校园)like visiting and seeing for yourself the dorms, classrooms and athletic equipment and, of course, the students. It seems a little crazy once senior year hits to find the time to visit college campuses, and it can also be pricey if the schools you are applying to happen to be more than a car ride away. But keep in mind that you are making a decision about the next four years of your life, and do all the research you can to make sure you are making the right one.
There's no excuse not to visit the schools in your local area. In fact, a lot of college applications even ask if you have visited campus, and obviously, if you live across the country that won't be as much of a possibility, but if you live nearby, go check it out!
If campus visits aren't going to happen before you apply, at the very least you should find some time between applying and getting your acceptance letters to visit the schools you’d like to attend. It can save you a lot of heartache if you rule out now the things that you don’t like about certain campuses, things that you wouldn't know unless you actually visit.
Now, if time and money are making it impossible, then check out the online college fairs at CollegeWeekLive. It's a chance to chat online with admissions officers, students and college counselors(顾问), and it won’t cost you a penny! You can register for its online college fair at collegeweeklive.com. While visiting an online college fair can’t take the place of an actual campus visit, it can be a very useful tool that along with all your other research will help you make an informed decision about which colleges or universities you’d like to attend.