As you consider what school you want to attend in the fall and you being to narrow the list, I want to suggest a new source of information: the campus newspaper and the school magazine.
The campus newspaper is a wonderful window into campus life. I would suggest asking your admissions counselor at each school you are seriously considering to send you the last two or three issues. In each paper there will undoubtedly be advertisements for upcoming events. This is nice for you because it lets you see a sample of events that happen at each school. Each school’s campus life has different strengths, be it intermural sports, theatre, clubs, or the annual campus wide zombie event. Whatever it is, you are sure to find some sign of it in the campus paper. Campus papers are almost exclusively produced by students, allowing you to see what student’s value at each school and a glimpse beyond the “party-line” of any school’s marketing department. If you are a communication major, you should especially be interested in the campus newspaper as a strong campus paper is often an indication of a strong communication major at that school.
Just as the campus paper lets you in on what students at any given school find important, the school magazine of lets you know what the institution finds important. Your admissions counselor would be happy to send you the latest edition and in it you will likely find information on upcoming advances at each school. The campus magazine is where new majors, new buildings, and new hires are announced. It is where you can read about the success of alums, research done by the faculty and exceptional staff. It will likely be a bit more polished than the campus paper, but that does not make the stories any less true or the information any less valuable.
Aaron Wilkinson is the Director of Admissions for Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. He got his M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary and his B.A. in Religious Studies from Gardner-Webb University. Prior to working for Wesley Seminary he worked for three years as the Coordinator of Admissions and Marketing for Asbury University’s Master of Social Work program.