Last Updated: July 22, 2013
When searching for the perfect college, there’s no better way to get a feel of a school than going to visit and taking a tour. Usually led by an enthusiastic student guide, college tour visits are an essential part of the college application process.
Visit at the Right Time
If you are interested in schools located somewhere with distinctive weather, it’s a good idea to visit during the season in question. Visiting a school up north during the warm summer months won’t allow you to discern whether or not you can handle the tougher winter months, and visiting a school down south during the winter when the weather is mild doesn’t let you experience what it’s like to encounter the hot and humid summer weather. Taking your tour at the appropriate time will ensure that you get a realistic experience on your potential campus, and understand what it will be like to actually live there.
Weather isn’t the only issue when it comes to a timely visit. Try to visit a college campus when classes are in session, and it’s “business as usual,” so to speak. Often the truest indicator of what a typical day is like at a particular school is to visit during one.
Listen to Your Guide
Tour guides take the job because they love the school and want to help prospective students see that they will love it, too. They will have interesting stories and facts intertwined with the informative part of the tour, and these stories are what will set each tour apart. You may be tempted to stay at the back of the group and look around, but walking toward the front will ensure that you hear everything the tour guide says.
Where Should You Go?
You may be applying to a number of schools and wondering how many you actually need to tour. Some schools require prospective students to make a visit in order for their application to be considered, so if any of these schools are on your list, they are places you need to visit. If you have one school that you know is definitely at the top of your list, it is recommended that you visit that school.
In your list of prospective schools, you will have back up options, target options, and reach options. It may not be necessary to visit your reach schools until after you get an admissions decision because you are unsure whether or not you will realistically be accepted. Likewise with back up options, you may not need to tour because you’ve received good news from your target school(s). The best idea is to start with your target schools, where you have the highest chance of ending up, and go from there.
Original Post Date: August 10th, 2012