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Campus Tour

College Campus Tour Tips

Taking a tour of the college you’ll be choosing to attend for the next four years makes so much sense that it’s really quite amazing that some people choose to forgo this opportunity.  Yet, some people – much to what they may later regret – end up skipping this chance to survey the atmosphere and the people they will be spending so much of their time around.  This is a big mistake.  Much useful information can be gathered about how your next four years will turn out by taking advantage of one of these campus tours.  So, put the campus tour visit right up there at the top of your list of things to do when researching prospective colleges.  Here are some tips on making this essential part of researching the school you may ultimately attend more productive and informative.
Step away from the tour guide:  Of course it will be important to follow along with the official tour guide and with other prospective students, but self exploration is also important.  Step away from the main tour from time to time to explore the campus and talk to the students who are already attending the school.
Eat in the Dining Hall:  You can get more than a sense of the kind of food that is served at the institution by sitting alongside students in the dining hall.  You can gauge whether or not the students seem comfortable with their surroundings.  You can ‘overhear’ what they are saying about their classes etc.  Finally, if you have special dietary needs, you can determine whether the school menu includes healthy food options such as vegan or gluten-free items.
Talk to the students going there:  As skilled as many college tour guides are they are all trained to be marketers in a sense.  Their purpose is to make the best impression of the college and its students.  Try to get as many unbiased opinions from students already attending the institution and who do not have a vested interest in your attending there as you can.  By interviewing a random set of students you will get a much clearer picture of the facility than you would from college admissions reps or tour guides.
Take notes and pictures:  Many students arrange to tour several institutions in a relatively short period of time.  This can get confusing when it comes time to recall the features and qualities of each.  To help you be able to distinguish one visit – and therefore one school from another – take copious notes during each tour of each school.
Take advantage of virtual tours:  Sites like eCampusTours and YourCampus360 allows students to conduct a virtual tour of colleges that may be too far away to explore in person.  With these services you can get a general feel for the facility without leaving your home.
Explore the various departments and classes:  Arrange to talk to a professor especially one in your major.  Also, if you can, sit in on a class in your major for several minutes and talk to students before and after class.
Financial Aid:  Gather all the financial aid data you can and collect as many brochures as you can.
Finally, along with filling out college applications, writing essays and taking phone interviews, taking a tour of the facility you plan to attend is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure that you are selecting the right college for you.  After all, choosing the right college is important not only in saving money, but also the decision also ensures that your future will be productive and prosperous.

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