College Visits Invite Students to Explore Options


Brook Wenande

BSM students have the opportunity to attend college visits with college representatives from different schools.

As the new school season at BSM is being kicked into gear, the pressure is on for students to make one of the most important decisions yet: where to go to college. Lasting around 25 minutes, students can attend college visits during the school day, based on the schedule listed in the Guidance and Counseling Schoology page. After asking their teachers to excuse them, students either walk to the Atrium or the Library, where a college representative gives a presentation and answers questions about their college.

Visits are meant to give colleges a chance to recruit BSM students, by providing information to help the student decide if the school is right for them. “The purpose is for them to answer questions about their school that… students might have. And that way students can figure out ‘oh, this is a school I think I want to learn more about’… it’s a way for colleges to find students that are a good fit and then vice versa for students to find the college that’s a good fit,” guidance counselor Heidi Wessman said.

Asking about life at the college or other questions the internet can’t answer is especially important at these visits. Junior Emma Grniet believes that learning more about the student life is important, due to the energy it creates around the school. “I also like to ask about student life on campus because this is a really important part of college… feeling like you’re in a strong community. So understanding what the school’s values are and what they find important helps reflect your own values,” Grniet said.

Students attending the visits should find out whether the college has the majors or programs they are interested in. Figuring out what you’re interested in or what you want out of a college experience can play a helpful role in decision making. “Students should try to picture themselves [at the campus], like ‘what are the things that I really enjoy about my life… Does this college have all those things,’” Wessman said.

Furthermore, it’s important to ask about the admissions process, due to the slight differences for each college. Some schools are more competitive, and therefore harder to get into. In recent years, some may not even need certain tests. “Most colleges aren’t requiring ACT or SAT test scores… But for [sophomores] some might start to [require] those tests more,” Wessman said.

Counselors suggest students shouldn’t be afraid to ask any questions they may have, as engaging with the representative and asking good questions may make a good impression. Likewise, students think it’s important to introduce yourself to the representative, especially if you’re interested in the college. “So I would say stepping outside of your comfort zone, asking those questions, as well as introducing yourself to the person because once the college visit ends… they’re going to be the ones reading your application,” senior Annie Juckniess said.

While it is mostly juniors and seniors who attend the visits, sophomores are encouraged to go, as the college visits have proven helpful in the decision-making process. “Just try to make it through as many as you can… because it’s really helpful and even if you aren’t sure where you want to be or what you want to do, it’s just good to start thinking about it and thinking about what you want to do after high school, even if it’s not college,” Grniet said.