You can research a college for months, read dozens of articles about it online, and follow its every move on social media, but you won’t know what it’s really like until you visit in-person. The campus tour is an essential step toward choosing the right college. Plan a summer or Spring Break road trip with family to check out your top choices, and while there, remember these tips:
Ask all the questions.
This is one situation where it’s okay to ask a lot of questions. “Talk to students and teachers,” says Shaun Moore, an admissions representative at Full Sail University. “You can learn a lot from the people who are currently there. Now is also the time to ask about tuition, housing, financial aid, and scholarships.”
Break off from the group.
In an interview with The College Board, MIT dean of admissions Stuart Schmill recommends visiting a college when school is in session to get a feel for what campus life is like. If you’re visiting over the weekend or in summer, break away from the tour group for a bit, Schmill suggests, so you can meet and talk with students on campus and get their take on their favorite (and least favorite) aspects of going to school there.
Use your imagination.
Most important, says Moore, is answering this question: Is this a place where I can really see myself? “Envision yourself completely immersed in this environment,” he says. “Because it’s where you’ll be spending the majority of your day.”