Powerful Tips for Handling College Tours
Traveling this summer or fall to see a potential college and tour the campus? Here are ten quick tip to make your college visits count and maximize your experience.
1. Plan in advance.
Plan. Plan. Plan. Even if you are a high school senior, it is not too late. Talk to a counselor, teacher, or trusted school leader about your plans, and how you plan on going about matters. Compiling 3-4 colleges in a week road trip seemed optimal.
Combining allows you to get a fair comparison, while it is still fresh in your mind. Giving yourself a day between college visits for rest, sleep, fun gives you the best college tour experience. Cramming 6 colleges in a week ends up causing mayhem. Plan a few compact week trips. You will also need to plan on how to store everything in your car. Don’t worry, we have some great options.
2. Think of intriguing questions.
College admission staff have their presentations memorized word for word, and often hear the same questions. Try not to ask a question that can be found on the school website. (i.e. number of students, listed majors, cost of tuition, etc.) Asking an interesting question leaves a good impression.
3. Try and talk to students on campus
Talking to students on campus can be difficult for many. The students selected by the admissions committee can be a good start. However, college admission departments train students to answer questions. Stopping a student on the quad, and asking them a specific question, may reveal something you would not hear in a presentation. It also will be a good change-up for the repetitive dialogue heard in admission presentations.
4. Visit your possible major’s department
Most prospective students miss out on sitting in on a class at their school. Find the introductory courses in a major, and see what freshmen year might look like. Sitting in on a class allows you to see how teachers and students interact. If you are undecided, pick any interesting class.
5. Drop by the dining hall
Eating pizza, burgers, and hot dogs on every college visit may not be particularly healthy. However, missing the dining hall on the tour may leave you surprised, if you decide to attend the college. Chicken tenders, again?
6. Ask about campus safety
Most colleges have a polished answer, when asked about safety. Virtually every college has a police force, and emergency points posted throughout campus. However, asking what specifically the college does to ensure safety may leave you more satisfied.
Disclaimer: If the area you recently visited has been affected by a tragedy, tread lightly with questions. You can still be satisfied with your answer without insulting your tour guide. Asking, “isn’t this place dangerous with the recent events going on?” probably is not a good safety conversation starter. Instead ask, “what has the university been doing with the recent events…?”
7. Student Newspapers leave impressions
Student newspapers allow you to understand the buzz on campus. It can also be a good memento months down the road, when you are trying to refresh your memory about the experience.
8. Take a few pictures
Do not scream tourist with all of your picture-taking. However, taking 5-10 pictures of a few key buildings, and your tour guide will help you jog your memory.
9. Follow up with a thank you
Sending a tour guide, or an admissions officer, an email or a handwritten note helps college admissions officers remember you amongst thousands of other applicants. Sending a thank you note also shows you are serious about exploring further.
10. Make campus a vacation
Enjoy other locations of the country when on a college visit. Take sometime to decompress. College visits can be an overload of information. Taking a break every 2-3 days from a week-long college tour may help with reflecting on your visits. Make the most of our your decompression time and your car with our Rightline Sport 3 rental.