Spring break is the best time of the year to go on your college tour. The weather is generally more pleasant, and you get to visit when campus is alive with college students.
So, how do you make the most out of your college tour? We have a few tips for you:
1. Make sure you plan ahead
Probably the most straightforward one, but if you want to make the most out of your college tour, you need to put together a plan. It’s hard to see so many schools back to back in a week, and you’re going to need to account for driving time between each school. Choose a few of the schools you really want to visit, and then plan a driving route accordingly.
2. Meet with Coaches and professors
Once you’ve decided where you want to visit, try to set up times to meet with the departments you are looking to major in, or reach out to the coaches. It’s always good to get facetime in and better understand the programs and facilities each school offers.
“When I visited Princeton, I arranged an appointment with one of the professors there (I actually met with the department head, Dr. Bahcall) and after a wonderful conversation with her in which I learned a lot about the program, she told me to tell her when I applied and she’d mention our conversation. Of course, getting a recommendation like that doesn’t always happen, but meeting a professor in the department can really provide a lot of insights to the program at the university that brochures and websites can’t give you.” – spacelover17, Princeton University ‘19
3. Do your research
Are there specific programs you’re interested in? While university websites are able to provide high level overviews on the programs they offer, it leaves out a lot of details. So find out why you want to visit specific schools, what do you want to know more about, and put it together in a list.
4. Ask questions
With the research, you are then able to find the answers you’re looking for. The campus tours and information sessions are helpful, but they are unlikely to go into specific programs. Ask the admissions officers, student guide and the professors you’ve set up a meeting with more specific questions. It’s up to you to find out yourself, and there’s no better way to do it than to ask the students and faculty on campus.
“Before senior year, I was set on moving across the country for college. But after touring schools on the East coast and in California, I realized how amazing California is. I ended up only applying to schools in my state for many reasons: weather, proximity to Silicon Valley for a few of them, perfect distance from home (not too far, not too close except for UCSD), and the cooperative attitude I found more in California schools than the ones on the East coast. I made sure to apply to two or three safeties, three or four match schools, and two reach schools. If I had not gotten into Stanford, I would’ve applied to Harvard and Yale. But I knew that if I got into either of those, I would choose Stanford because the cost would be the same.” – astein, Stanford University ‘19
5. Sit in on a class
If you have time, try to sit in on a class and get a feel for what college classes are like. Whether they are big lecture halls or small discussion classes, you’ll get a better sense of what best suits your learning environment.
6. Ask your parents for advice
As a junior or senior in college, you’re bound to be distracted by social life on campus and specific perks that the college offers. This is when touring with your parents might be helpful. They have different priorities and can help pick up things you may have missed!
Still need more advice on college tours? Here’s a list of questions to ask so you can find your best college fit. Make sure to browse through AdmitSee’s database of 60,000+ successful profiles to see essays, stats, and advice. See how they got in, and how you can too!