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A college tour is the best way to get to know a college and help you decide if it’s a good fit for you. Check out our tips for making the most of these visits. 

How to schedule a college tour

It’s best to visit the admissions website of all colleges you are hoping to visit. They should have information about campus tour availability and scheduling. Be sure to schedule ahead of time because college tours can fill up quickly. Many colleges will also allow you to customize your visit with options like attending a lecture, eating at the dining hall, or meeting with a professor. If you have already been admitted, (congrats!) you should consider attending events tailored towards admitted students instead of the traditional campus tour so you can skip all of the “how to apply” info.

When to take a college tour

If possible, time your visit when classes are in session to get the full student life experience. Avoid times like finals week, winter break etc. as they are def not an accurate depiction of everyday campus life.

Plan your unofficial campus visit

The official campus tour is going to be given by student tour guides employed by the admissions office. They bleed the school colors, so keep that in mind. They are trained to highlight the “selling points” of campus. It’s important to take your own unofficial campus tour to get what a “day in the life” looks like. Schedule in some extra time after your official tour to walk around on your own. Grab coffee in the student union, and drive around the surrounding areas. If you already know someone who attends this school, pick his or her brain, but always remember that everyone’s experience will be different.

Take pics or vlog your experience

Is the campus gym super important to you? Maybe you’re going to be a dramatic arts major so the theatre will be the highlight of campus for you. Whatever that “thing” is for you, be sure to take photos or vlog your impression of these parts of campus. This will give you something to look back on when it comes time to compare your options. It will also be a fun and most likely cringey memory to check out in a few years when you are graduating. #nostalgia

Create a follow-up to do list

This will include the practical things like applying, sending test scores, etc. But don’t forget to send a thank you to everyone you met with on your visit. It will not only bring smiles to their faces, but it will also reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm in the school. Win-win. 

If you can’t make it to campus in-person, check out some campus visit alternatives.

Happy visiting!