Tips for College Touring

Kevin Preis started Go See Campus ( because he thought that there should be an easier way for high school students and parents to plan campus visits. After all, they are such a key step in the college search, and thousands of people hit the road year after year to see universities for themselves. The tools and resources on the Go See Campus website, such as the College Trip Planner, are meant to help you get the most out of the experience. You probably know about some of the common activities available to you when you visit, like campus tours and information sessions. What you may not know is that there are other opportunities that are as valuable. Learn below about other experiences that can help you in your decision. Additional Tour Opportunities: Many universities provide tours that go to places other than major campus buildings. For example, some schools offer residence hall tours that let visitors see student living quarters. Other colleges have self-guided tours. With self-guided tours, the admissions office may give you a map marked with a walking path and information. Or, it could provide you with a downloadable audio tour. Self-guided tours take away the important interaction you would get with a live tour guide. However, they do give you a chance to see campus at your own pace or if a guided tour is unavailable. Interview with the Admissions Office: Some universities offer high school students the opportunity to have an on-campus interview that will impact the admissions decision. If this is provided, it's a good idea to take advantage only after the student has prepared for the interview. As an alternative to an interview, many universities connect students with admissions representatives to have one-on-one conversations. These discussions may not impact the admissions decision (each university has different guidelines), but speaking with a representative will give you a better perspective on the university. Dine On or Around Campus: Go See Campus recommends that you check out the surrounding neighborhood when you visit campus, and grabbing a bite to eat at a student hangout will give you an excuse to walk or drive through it. Take a close look and determine whether essential services, such as grocery stores, are located nearby. Also, consider whether the neighborhood appears well-maintained, safe, and brightly lit. Our College Trip Planner lets you find these types of nearby dining options. Meet with Professors and Coaches: A discussion with a professor in your area of focus can help you see how the school's academic offerings fit with your interests. Forming a relationship with a professor may also give you a head-start when deciding on classes, advisors, and other academic-related issues. High school athletes interested in meeting with coaches should review the information available through our trip planning tool or contact the admissions office, which may be able to direct you to the appropriate contact. Guidelines for athletic recruitment are not always publicized well, so this may take some research. Attend a School Event: Taking part in a school-sponsored activity is a great way to experience life as a student. If there are specific organizations that you think you would like to join, such as student government, college radio, or theatre, you can get to know these organizations. Or see school spirit in action at a campus festival or athletic competition. Go See Campus' trip planning tool links to calendars at each school for these types of event. It is likely that you will not have time to do all of the above on your trip. Still, the more you take part in these school activities, the better an understanding you will have of what each university has to offer. Take a look at Go See Campus for tools that can help you plan your campus visits and get the most from the college search. Also, we post some advice articles exclusively on Facebook and Twitter, so check us out there as well. Have a great trip! Kevin Preis, Ed.M. Founder, Go See Campus
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