College Tour: Everything You need to know
It's a big decision for each student to go away from home to study. It is also a big worry for parents to know where their son/daughter will stay for the following years. Besides this, it is also essential for a student to see the college before he/she apply for it. And to know all this, it's essential to go on a College Tour.
What is a College Tour?
The college tour, also known as the campus tour, is a university tour or a College for prospective students. The students who want to apply and their parents take this tour. Here, they try to know things like facilities provided by college and campus culture, etc.
The campus helps a student to know the campus environment and how it feels to be in it. The college organizes the campus tours for a promotional purpose. The tour encourages students to take admission to the college; thus, the tour is usually free. They may even give you gifts like t-shirts for attending a tour.
The students who usually take this tour are graduate, freshman, or transfer students. You can take the tour alone or go with your school group. You can also attend a virtual college tour.
Why Should You Do The College Tour?
If you don't go on a college tour, you have few sources to know about it. These sources are the college website, brochure, catalog, and internet. But can these sources give you the natural feel of the college? Absolutely Not!
When you try to know about the preferred college, the actual goal is to know if the college is a good fit for you or not. And the best way is to understand the college is to visit it in-person. Only sitting in the class, walking through the campus, in-person communication will give you the best understanding of college compared to anything else.
A college tour is a chance to communicate with faculty, student, admission staff. Communicating with them will help you know various details. You can ask everything about academics to faculties and students, from how lectures take place to your desired subject’s class size. You can also request a question about various things like campus meals, financial aid, activities, etc.
You can check out things like "bulletin board" which can also give a good idea about the college. As your family members are also allowed on a college tour, they can provide you their own view of the college.
All this will help you to decide how good the college is for you. I understand that everyone will not be able to do the college tour, but do it for sure if you can.
When Should You Go For A College Tour?
The purpose of a college visit is to know about college before applying for it. Hence, You should do the college tour before applying to the college. Doing this will make you confident about your decision to apply to the college or not.
It's better to do the planning of college tour much before. You should plan your visit during the session are going on. In most of the colleges, sessions take place from Monday to Thursday. Thus, these days are the best in a week to visit. You can observe the day-to-day activities of the college and when the classes take place. You can go on Monday holiday to your high school.
Considering the seasons, late summer to early September is the best time to visit the college. It is because colleges start their semester in mid of august. But, if you plan for an early decision or early action, it's better to visit the college in the spring season.
Although, if the college already accepts you, then the college will invite you to the campus. They will invite you before 1st May to spent few days on campus. The opportunity will help you to compare the accepted college.
When Should You Not Go For A Campus Tour?
Check dates of the college, so you don't arrive when the campus gets deserted. Call the college or look on the college's website for the academic calendar to find out when breaks, reading periods, and exam periods schedule.
Colleges are not in session during:
- Thanksgiving weekend
- Christmas week
- Winter and spring breaks
- Summer, unless there is a summer session.
The admission office may get closed to visitors at certain times. For example, admission officers may be too busy to meet with you in May and April — that's when they're reviewing applications. Check with the college.
Do This Before You Go On A College Visit
Plan your visit before you go. The admission office of the specific college can help you to plan your visit. You can plan a group tour of your high school or on your own.
You can contact the admission office through the website of the college, phone, or email. Talk with the college counselor about the campus tour, or else you may not allow visiting.
After you plan your tour:
- Make a list of what you will do and what questions you will ask the students and the staff.
- Keep a notebook with yourself, and it will help you point out your observation of the college.
- Keep a mobile or camera to take pictures if you want to.
- Also, I recommended downloading the campus visit scorecard where you can mark the college for various areas and then compare.
What To Expect In A Campus Visit?
You can expect a tour that ends in an hour and also expects a tour with an overnight stay. You may receive a formal presentation and even a casual tour.
Two things that mostly take place in the campus tour are information sessions and a campus tour. The information session is where an admission representative will talk to your group or with you before the campus tour. This session focuses on telling the students about the college. The campus tour is where you'll get to see the main things on the campus.
You can meet the faculty, admission, and financial aid staff. You can also attend the lectures, which will help you know how the college teaches it. Plus, you also get the chance to talk with students to take their perspectives about the college.
You can also attend sports sessions learning how the sports take place in the college. You also get a chance to eat in the cafeteria. If the tour is of the overnight stay, you will also get an opportunity to spend a night in the dorm.
Checkout Some College Tour Tips
Tips To Help With Your Decision To Apply To The College:
- Attend the information session to get an understanding of college.
- Attend an interview with the admission officer.
- Check out the financial aid form, talk with the financial aid office.
Tips Regarding The Major You Wish To Take And The Class:
- Attend the class and observe the way of teaching of faculties.
- Get into a conversation with the faculties of your majors.
- Have a conversation with students regarding the class and teaching method of faculties.
Tips Regarding Campus Tour:
- Talk to students regarding campus life in the college.
- Give a visit to places like the career center, cafeteria, fitness center, and all other campus facilities.
- Talk to the coaches about the sports of your interest in playing.
- Have a walk across the community to get a feel of it.
- Ask the tour guide regarding campus safety.
- Check the Campus media.
- Document you visit
- Get knowledge about the town or city where the college's location.