Saturday, October 12, 2013

College Talk: Campus Tours

Are you having a hard time deciding where you are going to attend college? You may already be filling out college applications with the hope that this is going to be the right college for you. Some college students set foot on campus the first day the dorms open. But, if you can afford to visit the school—do it! The knowledge you gain from your visit can swing your vote when you are deciding between more than one college. 

I took my kids on several campus tours. I let my high school senior ask all the questions she wanted to. I wanted to see how she would process the information she was receiving. She asked random students we encountered during the tour questions too! Why? Because, they are not being paid to tell us all about the butterfly and rainbow aspects of their school. We asked about study places, food, night life, and job opportunities. 

College Tours... Campus tours are held on a regular basis or during certain hours. Check out the school's website to see when tours can be scheduled. If reservations are possible, make one! You don't want to arrive only to find that the tour is completely booked.

High school students can get letters from the college's admissions office to turn into their high school attendance office to take a tour in the middle of the week. This is a great time to show up because there will be lots of college students around and you will be able to get a real feel for campus life. Most colleges offer tours through their admissions department using students that are currently attending the school.

Open Houses....Universities can hold an open house where all of the departments work
together to give prospective students a real view of campus life including tours of the dorms. Often, student leaders are available to answer any questions you may have. The downfall to this type of tour is that it is very general information. There is often little time for personalized questions and situations. 

  • Take pictures when you are there to remind you of what each campus has to offer. 
  • Document your pros and cons during your visits to keep your information organized.
  • Write down any follow up questions you have about the university so you can get your answers.

Choosing a college is serious business. This is where you are going to spend the next four to five years of your life. You should make sure that you are going to be happy there!