"Visiting a School Should Be Like Test-Driving An Automobile"
A school's reputation, whether one is looking at a K-8 school, boarding high school, or college or university, largely should not be decided on simply by word of mouth or by researching its website. Not only is it important to visit a school's campus, an applicant needs to spend time visiting dorm rooms, the library and study areas, recreational facilities, as well as sitting in on classes to get a good feel for the campus' environment. The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) produces a publication entitled Ten Ways To "Test Drive" A College thus highlighting these very points. Do not wait until you are settled into your freshman year to find out that many of your classes are lecture-based (to your dismay), that the school library closes early on weekends, or that the school's dining hall does not adequately serve your dietary requirements.