13 Useful Services and Resources to look for During a College Visit
Your college visit is a helpful time for you to get a feel of what the campus like as well as all the great things you can find there. Beyond education, you should look into what a school offers to keep you healthy, safe, and successful as a whole person.
Keep an eye out for the services that will be available to you once you’re a student. To help you get an idea of what to keep in mind during your visit, we have created a list of useful services and resources that we recommend you look for. Not every school offers these essential services, so make sure to check!
It can feel overwhelming to think about how much hard work you’ll be doing in the span of these next four years, but you don’t have to do it alone. Your academic advisor will be there to help you make the most of your college career. It may not be a requirement to meet them at every school, but it is a good idea for you to meet with them at least once a semester. You can meet with your advisor for a wide range of reasons: planning out your semesterly schedule, deciding a major, pre-professional advice, staying on track with your degree plan, etc.
The Career Center is another service that can help you optimize your success. It is meant to get you access to real-world connections while providing such resources as mock interviews, career/major exploration, résumé reviews, career fairs, or internship and career listings. These resources will help you understand the perspective of a working professional as well as what companies are looking for in an applicant. You don’t have to wait until your senior year to prepare for a career! These services are available to you as soon as you enter college, so utilize the Career Center as soon as possible to get a head start on your future.
The campus library is an incredible resource that can be easy to overlook in our digital age. It is not only full of resources to help you research and study, but the librarians are skilled at helping you locate whatever you may need. Many libraries even provide exclusive online material specifically for students at the school. The library is also a popular place for students to study, many of which allow students to rent out private rooms to work on personal or group assignments.
What students may not know is that campus libraries are stocked with more than just books; they often have other equipment you may need but don’t have. Most campus libraries allow students to rent such items as textbooks, cameras, chargers, and laptops. The library will most likely have computer labs and printers available for all students as well. Some college computer labs may also provide students with access to software applications that you would usually need to buy.
The Writing Center is exactly what it sounds like: a center to help you write. You’ll probably have a handful of research papers or essays during your college career, and some may be challenging, but don’t worry! Whether it be creating an outline, proofreading drafts, critiquing, or checking citations, the staff at the writing center can help with every stage of the process.
Living & Accommodations
Housing & Dining
No matter your living situation, there is always a chance for conflicts to arise. You’re in luck, however, if you live in a dorm, because college residence halls are staffed with Resident Assistants (RAs) to help you deal with any issues. Your personal RA, who is the go-to student leader in charge of your whole floor, leads events to help everyone meet new people, offers advice to those who ask for it, and resolves any issues that may happen between roommates. is in charge of your whole floor; they are there to set up events to help you meet new people, give you college advice, and resolve any dorm issues you may have. If you need someone to talk to about adjusting to college life, your RA can be one of your greatest connections. Some may even grow to be great friends; RAs are there because they want to talk to you and see you thrive!
If your RA can’t help solve your problem, then your next best bet is the Residence Director (RD). The Residence Director is a full-time employee who oversees the RAs and focuses on providing students with a positive dorm experience.
If you do plan to live in a dorm, you should check whether your college offers a meal plan, which is usually included in your room and board fees. A meal plan is a preset amount of funds that is used specifically for on-campus dining. It can vary between a set number of meals per day/week or unlimited access to the dining halls.
Student life centers can provide general guidance to help you adjust to life on campus. The staff can give you insight of student news or information, events, and advice about joining organizations or programs.
Disability Resources and Services
If you have any disabilities that need accommodating, you should locate the campus’ disability resources and services centers. Every student deserves equal opportunity during their college experience, and it’s the job of the college disability services coordinator to make sure helpful accommodations are available.
Health & Wellness
You should know where a college’s health services center is located just in case you ever get sick or injured while you’re a student. The health center works like a clinic; you can consult with employees for any health concerns, get flu shots, make appointments, etc. They may even provide consultation and services for mental health as well. Find out what specific services your health center provides and utilize them to make sure you stay healthy and happy!
Many colleges host campus recreation centers with various fitness facilities and equipment for their students and faculty. Take advantage of this access! Stress can greatly affect both your physical and mental health, but physical activity through sports or general exercise can help you stay in shape. Exercise can be a great way to get your mind off of school and have a great bonding time with friends.
Intramural sports are also available at most recreation centers. Also available at most recreation sports are all kinds of intramural sports teams, which are yet another way to make friends and get involved outside of the classroom. These can get you involved with people who share your interests and even boost your sense of school pride.
Financial Aid and Scholarships Office
It can be useful to make sure a college has a dedicated financial aid and scholarships office to help students with their applications for different kinds of financial support. If you have any questions, need assistance as you apply for financial aid, or want to find more scholarships, this is the place to look out for.
Multicultural Student Affairs
The multicultural student affairs office supports minority populations—both various ethnic communities as well as LGBTQ+ students. The focus of such a resource is to create a place for students of diverse populations to have a supportive foundation. If you are a person of underrepresented heritage or identity, seek out a resource that dedicates itself to building an inclusive sense of comfort and community.
If you need to buy electronics or find IT support, your campus may have technology services available. Campus technology services offer a wide range of help—it may even offer cheaper prices or student discounts.
To ensure safety for students, your campus will most likely have a police force on patrol. No matter how safe you feel on campus, you should take care to save their numbers in your phone in case of emergencies. In addition, some colleges have set up alarm systems around campus that allow students immediate access to the police with the press of a button. Your campus may also have a text and email alert system that notifies students when crimes occur on campus or nearby.
College campuses offer their own unique set of services to students, each of which are built to provide support for a great overall experience. While you’re on your college visits, keep looking out for all the important facilities you could utilize, and ask around for the benefits offered on campus. And remember: once you’re finally enrolled, take advantage of them while you can!