It’s school shopping time! If you are a high school student, you are probably getting that common question: Where are you going to college? If you don’t know, then now is the time to start looking! Some students go to community college, some to 4-year institutions, but no matter where you further your education, it’s very helpful –and almost crucial— to do a college tour first. Summer is coming up, and it’s the perfect time to start visiting!
Here are four tips to aid you on your college tours…
1.) Do Some Research – Before going to visit schools, come up with a list of colleges you want to visit and maybe why you want to be there. You may want to research the area for safety or even interesting things to do nearby the campus, possible places to work and so on. For the students active on social media, following the school is a great tool to getting more inside scoops of the school you may want to attend before or even after your tour. If you have the opportunity to sign up for mailing lists and things of that nature—do it! It will give you more insight into what’s going on internally.
Sometimes it’s easier to start in your hometown or somewhere that’s easy to get to. A common and sometimes more rewarding route is to look for companies or organizations in your area that are doing college tours. A lot of times you can get exposed to multiple schools at once, all over the country for a lower cost than doing it on your own. These are great ways to jump start your search and uncover you to what you want and don’t want in a school. Once you’ve decided on some schools, looked them up, and formed your list of places to visit, you might have thought of some questions that couldn’t be answered on the website—write them down. When you go to visit it will give you some things to actively look for while you’re there.
2.) Explore – An added benefit is to make time before or after your tour to visit/explore the area. Eat on campus if you can, walk around the campus, visit some of the places you might have found nearby while doing your research. It’s a great way to expose you and possibly imagine the full experience of attending the school you choose.
3.) Take Notes and Pictures – The tour guides are usually going to tell you fun facts about the school, show you buildings, and popular or new things that are coming—so that is another opportunity to write them down. If you are visiting a lot of schools, those fun facts may become blurry later on. If you hear something you like (or don’t like) or see something that made you feel good about going to the school—capture the moment. When it comes time to make the decision of where you are going to go, referring to these items will prove to be very helpful.
4.) Ask LOTS of Questions – Once the tour is over sometimes the guide will allow a time for you to ask any questions. Make sure you ask anything you want because think about it…you could be potentially attending the school. If you can, see if you can ask some students that attend there to give you some of the ins and outs that may not be represented while on the tour. The more information you have, the better when it finally comes to making that final decision!
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