With application deadlines around the corner, it’s important to visit schools to make sure you have your top 5 or top 10 choices ready.
I used to give college tours for my job. I work for a community college. Although the application process at a community college is fairly easy, there are still a ton of things that people should listen to during college tours.
Photo: Joydeep Pal on Unsplash
At this point of the year, it is crunch time. Application deadlines are coming up, so it’s important to scheshdule college tours as soon as possible. When you’re at a college tour, you need to pay attention to the tour guide, especially when they are speaking about when the actual deadline is. If you’re on a college tour, the deadline has probably not closed yet, but you never know. Listen to your tour guide when he or she discusses when the deadline is, how much the application costs, and what the requirements are for the application process. On every college tour I have given, I’ve always mentioned deadlines, application prices, and application requirements. If your tour guide doesn’t bring up these topics, then you should definitely ask. You want to make sure you leave the college tour with all the information you need. Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you’d like. Is it too late to apply? How much money do you need to save for your application fee? Listen to your tour guide. Also, ask your tour guide what the acceptance rate is and how many students get accepted each year. Additionally, ask how many total students go to the school. If you’re touring a school with a low acceptance rate, is this really a school you want to spend time applying to? Do you prefer schools with over 50,000 students in total? Would you rather be in a small college setting with 13,000 students at most?
Most of the students that would come on my college tours would always ask about classroom size. Each school is different, but at my community college, classroom sizes range from 10 to 35 students. If you hate being in a big classroom, then make sure you listen to your tour guide when they talk about classroom sizes. Do you prefer schools that have smaller classroom sizes? Do you prefer schools with big lecture halls? While on your tour, your tour guide will likely take you around to visit classrooms, so pay attention to how big they are and how many students are in each one.
The next thing to look out for is parking availability and costs. Will you be commuting to school? Are you going to have a car on campus? At my community college, parking is free, so I would always tell that to all the potential students. During your college tours, listen to your tour guide when they mention parking availability. Does it cost any money? How big are the parking spaces? Will you have to stop other students to get a parking spot? Also, listen to your guide when they mention where to get your parking sticker! This will save you trouble in the long run.
Pay attention to your tour guide when they mention what resources are available to you and where they can be found. Where is the student center? Where are the tutoring rooms? Where are most of your professors located? Where are the offices located? Also, make sure you find out if tutoring will be available to you for any subject that you may need help in. I’m assuming all schools have a tutoring center to help their students, but double check with your guide to verify this. Of course, also pay attention to where certain offices are, such as the Enrollment Center or the Financial Services Office. Nothing is more aggravating than walking around the entire campus trying to find the office you need, especially if it’s a big campus with numerous buildings.
Getting to the exciting part of the tour… what about campus activities? If you like getting involved and meeting new people, pay attention to where the clubs and organizations are held. Is Greek like popular and do you plan on joining it? Although your tour guide will mostly explain the important information, he or she will also talk about the various clubs and activities that are offered. Do you want to go to a school that’s heavily based around Greek life? Are there clubs and organizations for you to join? Is it a big party school? Would you prefer to be at a school that’s not too keen on parties? College is the best time to get involved in activities and build your skills, so pay attention to the activities that are offered.
These are typically the main points that I would bring up whenever I gave college tours. Of course, there are a ton of other topics that could be discussed on tours, but these were usually the main points that I always wanted my students to know. What do you guys normally look out for or recommend to look out for in a college tour?