College tours are a time to learn everything you absolutely can about a college, while physically there. It is also a plus to be able to talk to students who attend the school, and will be able to give honest answers that a website may not provide. Make the most of it, because it will inevitably be a factor in where you decide to attend college. With that being said, here are some things you should do, along with some things you should most definitely not do in regards to campus tours.
Ask your tour guide about his or her own experiences at the university.
Ask about the classes they may be taking, what they love about the college, what they hate, and what clubs and other opportunities are offered to students.
Ask specifically about the size of classes and the student body, and ask about the benefits and drawbacks of the number of students on campus.
This will help in deciding whether or not you would like to attend a smaller or larger school.
Ask questions about financial aid, making sure to note what kind of help the university offers.
Also, ask about job opportunities after graduation, how much the average grad from there owes in student loans, and how many seniors end up with careers related to their major.
Ask about the social scene and the atmosphere of events on campus — you will not be able to get this answer anywhere online.
This is an inevitable part of college, and making sure that the social scene is something that fits your needs, whether that’s less or more involvement, is going to be a factor in deciding on a college; a small factor for some, but one nonetheless.
Ask about the greater community area.
Sometimes it is very easy to get wrapped up in the college atmosphere, and forget that the campus may lie in the middle of a city or town. Make sure to ask about what the town outside of campus is like, because you will more than likely be venturing off into it at one point or another.
Do not ask questions you can find on the Internet, or on the school’s website.
This will be a waste of your time and tour. The questions may be helpful, but it will be much more helpful to ask questions that your tour guide can personally speak to.
Do not make a decision based solely on one aspect of the college.
For example, just because the social scene may seem great, do not disregard the large student population. Or you may be offered a great financial aid package, but be sure there are plenty of opportunities for you on campus, and after graduation.
Although it is encouraged to ask the tour guide about personal experiences about college, do not be too invasive.
Try to avoid questions surrounding their own financial aid situation or their involvement in the social scene.
It is also important not to disregard the school completely if you get a bad vibe on the first visit.
Whether it is that you did not like the tour guide, or something about the college itself, make sure to weigh all pros and cons before making a major life decision about which college to attend.