What to Ask on a College Tour

August 07, 2017

Touring colleges is a quintessential high school experience, and a great opportunity to learn about prospective schools.

​Every college student is able to recognize the starry-eyed high schoolers who swarm campus regularly to explore and follow their dreams. After all, that was them just a few months or years ago. Ultimately, these tours are not extended interviews. They’re often given by trained students, and can sometimes feel a bit like a sales pitch. However, they are great opportunities to learn about the school, and to get real perspectives on what it’s like to be a student there. So, if you can manage to slip in a few words between those of overzealous parents, it might be helpful to think along the following lines:

  • Ask questions that will help you prepare to answer a “why this school?” essay question. Not every school has them, but being able to demonstrate understanding of culture and fit in other essays is equally important. You should try to absorb information like a sponge, and if you don’t understand something, ask.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions specific to your plans. Even if you are a prospective music major, and your tour guide is an engineer, don’t be afraid to learn about what you’re interested in. The worst case scenario is that your tour guide says he/she doesn’t know. However, it is more likely that their training has supplied them with answers related to the school’s resources in your prospective field. Perhaps they even have a friend similar to you whom they could connect you with, or speak on the behalf of.

  • Ask the tough questions. This is your chance to interview the school. You want to decide whether or not to apply or attend. If bad dining hall food is a deal breaker for you, ask your tour guide’s opinion, and find out how you can try it yourself. If you need libraries with plush chairs, find out if they exist. Whatever it is, get to the bottom of it. You won’t regret having more information when it’s time to make a decision.

  • Prepare ahead of time. Research the college/university you’re visiting online before you visit. This way, you have the basic background upon which to build a more advanced understanding, and don’t waste your time asking questions that you can find answers to with a quick Google search. Think about what you really care to ask, and prepare thoughtful questions. It’ll make your visit much more worth the trek.

 

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And in order to cover all the basis, check out this fun video of what not to ask. Unlock any of our packages or search our undergraduate profile database to find specific profiles with advice on college tours that can help you make an informed choice about where to apply!

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.




Browse Successful Application Files

FeartheLee
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Stanford, Williams, Brown, Pomona, Duke, Bard, Kenyon

Stanford 2019, creative writing and education. Full essays! "Lopsided," less-than-stellar numbers.
youngch
Vanderbilt ‘18


Accepted to Baruch, Binghamton, Brooklyn College, Hunter, Macaulay Honors, Duke, JHU, Northwestern, UPenn, Brown, Cornell, SUNY Buffalo, Rice, Vanderbilt, NYU, Columbia

I grew up in New York City, Bronx and Brooklyn to be exact. I went to pretty big public schools and once you find a supportive yet motivating group of friends, teachers, advisors, and counselors to complement your family, life becomes a whole lot better!
jackmac401
USC ‘19


Accepted to USC, UMich, Northwestern, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Swarthmore, CMU, NYU, Vassar, Reed, Kenyon, UC Davis, Syracuse, CU, Fordham, Santa Clara, CSU Chico, CSUF, UC Riverside , UCSB, UCSC, Bard

Theater/business double major from classic and online highschool background. Here to help navigate audition and business interview processes! On full tuition scholarship
Yalie
Yale ‘19


Accepted to Yale, Stanford, Columbia, Rice, Williams, Amherst, UVA, UNC, W&L U, Rutgers, UVM

Entrepreneurial sophomore Mathematics and Philosophy major at Yale University who also loves the liberal arts.

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