Ask a rep – tips for campus tours

A college visit can give you an unmatched view of campus and a feel for if you belong at that college

Ask a rep – tips for campus tours

Q: Any tips for me as I start to look into visiting colleges?

A: A campus visit can give you insight into the college that you can’t get through brochures and the application process. Here are some tips to make the most of your campus visits.

Before you plan on visiting colleges:
• Plan far in advance. Remember, most schools have similar calendars and some colleges limit the number of visitors on a certain day. Schedule your visit early to ensure you get the full benefits. Never just show up; you lose out that way.

• Schedule your college visit through the admissions office. Scheduling allows you to get the most out of your visit.

• Schedule only one visit per day. You’ll want to be thorough with each college. Get to know every aspect of the campus so you can make sure there are things that appeal to you there.

• Allow for adequate time. Yes, you’ll have a guided tour, but also plan time to explore the campus on your own.

• Remember to cancel. If you can’t make it, be courteous and call.

Once you’re on campus:
Come prepared with any questions you have for the administration and for students. Ask the two groups the same questions so that you get the official (administration) perspective and the reality (student) perspective.

• Grab the student newspaper. It offers insight into what goes on around campus.

• Take a copy of your most recent high school transcript and test scores. It is always better to be able to show instead of tell. 

• Look for students who have pride in their school. Ask them what they love and hate about the school.

• Ask yourself if the campus is easy for you to navigate.

• If you are staying overnight, ask the admissions representative if any of the surrounding hotels
offer discounts. Also, some colleges allow you to stay overnight on campus, so ask about that, too. As your mother always tells you, it never hurts to ask.

Jenny Sawyer is executive director of admissions at the University of Louisville (


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