A senior’s advice to get more from a college tour

Ilana Hill, A&E Editor

As senior year comes to an end, it’s surreal to think that the college process is already behind me.  While the process itself was long and stressful, one part that I truly enjoyed was college visits.  I believe that no amount of promotional material can compare to the feeling of stepping on campus for the very first time; however, as important as it is to visit schools, whether it be during the application process or after admission to a school, financial restrictions and prior obligations can sometimes make it hard to visit as many prospective schools as one may hope.  Because of such restrictions, it is extremely crucial to get as much out of each visit as possible.  Here are some tips to make your visits worthwhile.

  • Pay attention to which schools take demonstrated interest into account.  If you are extremely interested in a school, try to take an official tour of the campus, attend an information session, or get in contact with your local admissions representative.
  • Visit a range of types of schools.  Even if you are only visiting a few schools, looking at options of varying sizes, locations, and curriculums can help you figure out what you want and do not want from your college experience.  Once you have narrowed down what type of school you are most interested in, you can choose where you wish to apply accordingly.
  • Whether it be when you are visiting before applying or after getting in, it is extremely beneficial to meet with current students in order to get a more personal and in-depth view of a school.  For me, talking with former Schreiber students who are attending the schools that I was interested in truly helped me understand the academic and social environment that my options provided.
  • Additionally, don’t be afraid to approach students on campus to ask for directions or opinions about the school.  In my experience, college students love discussing their school and showing prospective students around, so capitalizing on that can only advance your visiting experience.
  • Another way to gain a more in-depth view of a school’s academic environment and student body is by sitting in on a class.  Sitting in on a class can give you a glimpse into what a college course is actually like, and provides you with an opportunity to interact with professors and students who can answer some of your questions about the school.
  • Take notes during or after your visits.  Start a list of any questions or concerns you may have (i.e. majors, class size, workload, social scene, dorming, dining, etc), and look for the answers at each of the schools that you visit.
  • Take a dorm tour or go on an overnight visit if you are planning on dorming on campus.  Many admitted students’ days feature an overnight option, which can be helpful in getting a feel for what it is like living on campus, as well as the quality and comfort of the dorms themselves.
  • Be sure to visit a dining hall when you are on campus.  Much like with dorms and classes, dining halls will be an integral part of your daily life at school, and thus should be something you consider in your visits and eventual decision.
  • Explore the surrounding area.  When choosing a college, you are choosing a location as well as a campus.  Liking or disliking the town or city in/near which a school is located could be a major pro or con in your eventual decision.
  • Explore the surrounding area. When choosing a college, you are choosing a location as well as a campus. Liking or disliking the town or city in/near which a school is located could be a major pro or con in your eventual decision.
  • Have an open mind. The college process is crazy and often brings unexpected results, so be open to potential changes in your available options, as well as in what you desire in an institution.