Tips For Campus Tours

Tips For Campus Tours

Campus tour at the University of Notre Dame. The Golden Dome, or Main Building, is perhaps Notre Dame’s most iconic landmark on the University’s 1,200-acre campus in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Peter Ringenberg Photography)

Tips for Campus Tours

There’s no better way to get to know what a school can offer than by visiting a college campus.

Christopher Rim, CEO of Command Education and a contributor at Forbes, recently offered a few tips on how applicants can make the most of their college visits.


The ideal time to visit a college, Rim says, is usually during the spring semester of your junior year.

“While students may choose to tour a college before this point, they will have a more accurate sense of their test scores during their junior year and thus be able to create a balanced college list on the basis of how their scores compare to the average scores for applicants admitted to schools they are interested in,” Rim explains. “Students may have a couple of high reach schools on their college list, but it is not generally the best use of time and resources to visit schools where your student’s grades and test scores fall below the 25th percentile for admitted students.


College visits can be expensive—especially if you’re applying to out-of-state schools. Experts advise putting together a budget for college tours to strategically allocate money for each visit.

“You don’t want to spend so much money on college tours that you are pulling away from valuable money that you’re earmarking to pay for school,” Peg Keough, a college financial planning consultant and founder of Washington-based college planning firm Way to the Quad, tells US News


Realistically, you won’t be able to tour every school on your list, so it’s important to be strategic about which schools you plan to visit.

“Plan to visit schools of different sizes, settings (rural/urban/suburban), and types (public/private, liberal arts/research institution),” Rim says. “Before and during campus visits, encourage your student to not only consider their overall impression of school itself, but also identify what specific attributes of the school they like and dislike. This will help them to hone their list and have a more clear sense of what they want for their learning environment over the coming four years.”


From activities to events, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re touring a school. Rim recommends prepping some questions beforehand and taking adequate notes when on campus.

“In order to stay focused, plan to write out your questions in advance and bring them to any admissions Q&As or one-on-one meetings you may have,” Rim says. “Students should also bring a notebook and their questions with them as they sit in on a class or converse with students in the dining hall or on their campus tour.”

Sources: Forbes, US News

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