What is a College Tour?
A college or campus tour typically involves prospective students, their parents/family members, and other visitors taking a tour of a college or university’s campus to learn more about student life and culture, academic programs offered by the institution, and their own individual interests. College tours play an integral role in assisting with the college selection process. They’re a great way to narrow down the list of schools you’d like to apply to and/or compare and contrast the differences between your top choices. Many colleges are similar when it comes to academic offerings and educational quality/prestige, so the differences in an atmosphere may be the deciding factor for your eventual decision.
Are College Tours Worth It?
Yes, college tours are absolutely worth it! College tours give you a chance to see the school’s campus, ask questions about a variety of topics you’re interested in learning about, and to get a glimpse into what your experience would be like if you attended the institution. If there’s anything you’d like to know more about, be sure to leave no stone unturned by asking questions and venturing off to areas you’d like to experience first-hand.
How to Schedule/Sign Up College Campus Tours
Scheduling a college campus tour is a fairly straightforward process. You can search online for the school’s name, followed by “Campus Tour” and you’ll usually be able to find a page on the school’s website to register for a tour online. Additionally, most schools have admissions offices and visitor’s centers where you can book a college tour by email, phone, or in person. Many schools also allow you to have a self-guided tour, where you can explore the campus at your own pace with a map of noteworthy locations to visit or even participate in a virtual tour online. Be sure to schedule your visit in advance so you’re able to book the optimal time and not miss out on any potential tours.
When should you start college tours?
You should start taking college tours prior to or during your final year of high school. This could be after you’ve already been accepted to the school or before you’ve applied to figure out whether you’re interested in doing so. College tours are also very helpful for students that are transferring from another school or for a nontraditional student, starting their higher education journey at a later point in their life.
How to Plan for a College Tour Trip
In order to plan for your college tour trip, you should first do some research on the school that you’re visiting and the surrounding area. Spend some time learning about hot spots for students and other activities that are of interest to you, like clubs or organizations on campus. Also explore feedback on the main benefits/advantages of the school and the most frequently reported complaints/drawbacks.
What to Wear on a College Tour
This is a tour, which means you’ll likely be doing a ton of walking, a lot of which will be outdoors. Keep this in mind when you get dressed for your College tour and consider wearing cool, breathable clothing if it’s hot outside or warm, insulated clothing if it’s cold outside. It’s also highly recommended to wear shoes that are comfortable to walk lengthy distances in.
How long do college tours take?
College tours typically take 4-5 hours for a first visit, but that can vary based on your level of interest and involvement. Be sure to make the most of your time by learning and experiencing as much as you can during the visit.
What questions should I ask on a college tour?
It’s important to ask questions related to individual areas of interest, academics, campus life, the student body, and career services at the school. If you’re on a guided tour, you’ll have a tour guide along with your group that will gladly answer any questions that you may have. Here’s an article from The Princeton Review with a great list of 60 questions to ask on your college tour: Article.
Do College Tour Guides Get Paid?
In case you were curious: yes, college tour guides are usually paid. According to Zippia, the average wages of a college tour guide are around $13/hour (source). Many college tour guides are active students at the institution, so if you’re ever looking for a job during your college experience, this is a viable option.
Do college tours cost money?
College tours are typically free and it’s not customary to tip your guide at the conclusion of the tour. However, you do have to set a budget for any traveling and lodging required to visit. Many wealth advisors suggest setting aside at least $1,000 for campus visits (source).
All in all, college tours are an important part in the school selection process. Whether you’re a high school student, transfer student, or a nontraditional student, you’ll be able to find immense value in seeing a school’s campus for yourself, experiencing the atmosphere and area’s offerings, and being able to ask questions to people who attend. If you’re considering attending college in the near future, it’s heavily recommended to attend some college tours yourself and we hope you can use this guide to make the most of your visit.
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