It’s not mandatory to visit our school but it can be helpful in your search when you are trying to identify the right school for you. It also gives the admissions office an opportunity to get to know you as a person, beyond what they see in your application.
Plan your visit ahead of time. It allows you to schedule your time strategically and plan your travel to and from the school so you can maximize your visit. Contact the admissions office to make an appointment to meet with a counselor, arrange a class visit so you can observe a class and professor in action, join a campus tour and meet with current students. You can also schedule an appointment to sit down with other staff and faculty in the department of your academic interest.
Read and research the school and program before you visit. You’ll want to make the most of your time with the people you meet so ask intelligent questions; don’t waste the time asking questions you can easily find on the school’s website and program brochure. The website and brochure are designed to answer the most common questions from prospective students, and you’ll make a much stronger first impression if you have done your homework.
If you have time, I would also recommend visiting the Financial Aid Office. You should begin your search for financial aid while you’re researching schools; even if you don’t know if you will apply and attend if admitted. It’s a good idea to think seriously about how you’ll finance your degree if you do eventually come to SIPA.
At the Financial Aid office, you can ask about scholarships, assistantships, and grants offered through the school, as well as external funding sources (such as student loans and special funding specific to your field of study). Find out what the eligibility requirements are, whether you need to supplement your application with additional documentation or materials, and what the deadlines are to be considered for school funding. Keep in mind that external scholarship application deadlines vary so make sure you submit by the specified deadlines. Start your search for financial aid early and don’t miss opportunities to get funding.
If you have time in your schedule, you should explore the city or town — If you decide on a school (hopefully it’s SIPA), you’ll have to live in that city for two years so it’s important to know if it offers the quality of life you expect and want for yourself (and your family – if you have one coming with you).
Hopefully, during your visit, you’ll get a sense of the school, the culture of the students and faculty, the facilities, and the community. If you are planning to visit SIPA, let us know or just swing by the office (We’re open: Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm). See you on campus.