The college visit campus tour can seem overwhelming—no matter if there are five or 50 people in your tour group.
On your college tour extravaganza, you will experience all kinds of tours—bus tours, academic tours, athletic tours, individualized tours and large group tours. But what questions are you supposed to ask at a campus tour? Especially when it may be the first—and only—time you set foot on the grounds?
Do your part to make the college visit/campus tour engaging and informative, not just following a student around campus for an hour listening to random facts and the college’s history. After all, college is about both results and the experience. These questions can help energize your college search. But though the answers to those questions are important, the feeling of whether or not the college is the right “fit” for you is also essential.
Ask your campus tour guide to take you through buildings you are interested in seeing, and ask about the academic areas that interest you most. If you like athletics, make sure you ask to see the athletic facilities. Also visit a classroom and a residence hall room to get a feel for student life.
College tour guides like when families interact with them and ask questions. The campus tour should engage you and give you a feeling of whether or not you could see yourself as a student there. Your first impression might just lead you to your future alma mater!
Here are some questions you and your parents should ask your tour guide on a campus tour/college visit:
• Why did you choose this college?
• What other schools did you look at?
• When do students typically declare a major?
• How easy is it to switch majors?
• How’s the food?
• What is it like to live on campus?
• What do students do for fun?
• What is your most favorite and least favorite thing about this college?
• What are the job and graduate school placement rates?
• What is the freshman to sophomore retention rate?
• What is the four-year graduation rate?
• What percent of students have internships?
• What are some of the top employers for graduates of this college?
• What is unique about this college?
• What are the strongest or most popular majors?
• Where are students from geographically?
Nicole Graham is associate director of admission at Valparaiso University (valpo.edu).