Preparing for College

Will NOT Visiting Campus Hurt Early Decision Chances at Northwestern?

Question: Would not visiting the Northwestern campus hurt my chances at ED? I live in New York.

Visiting a college campus … especially a distant one … can certainly be one way to show a candidate’s interest. But that doesn’t mean that a candidate who can’t visit isn’t interested. In fact, there’s really no better way to “demonstrate interest” than to apply via a binding Early Decision program. You’ve got to like a place if you’re swearing to enroll if admitted, right?

Northwestern’s Common Application supplement asks what "encouraged your interest.” The reply options are:

I visited Northwestern's campus in Evanston.

I met with a Northwestern representative during a local high school visit.

I attended an off-campus information session in my local area.

I met with a representative from Northwestern at a college fair.


So, even if you couldn’t get to campus, you can show the admission committee what got you excited about their school. If you tick the “Other” box, you get a little space to explain your answer. If you don’t need that space, you could add a few words there about how you have “visited” in Cyberspace … or in your imagination.

So don't worry if you couldn't make it to Evanston, but do try to take advantage of any programs that might be offered in your area while you wait for your verdict in December. And good luck with it!

(posted 10/8/2011)