Prepare for your visit ahead of time by researching online any school you plan to tour. Have a list of questions ready for the admissions representatives, faculty, tour guides, and any students you may engage in conversation while on the campus. Be sure to take photographs, as having a visual reminder will be helpful when recalling the college at a later date.
Some campus tours are more comprehensive than others. However, I recommend you visit and note the following:
- Libraries – What are the hours? Is the space conducive to both individual and group study? Adequate research database and electronic resources?
- Classrooms and Labs – Modern technology and lab equipment? Size of classrooms?
- Dorms – Are the dorms well maintained and updated? How many students are assigned to each room? How are roommates chosen? Are the dorms within walking distance to classrooms or will a shuttle be necessary? How about parking and security?
- Student Activity Center – What are the hours? Is entertainment offered? Weekend activities sponsored?
- Athletic Facilities – What is the condition of the facilities? Modern and updated? What is the experience of the coaching staff? Are there recreational and intramural options available as well as varsity?
- Dining Halls – What are the hours? Quality and variety of food? Vegetarian or alternative menus available?
- The Town - What is the town like? Setting, size, and safety? Does it offer restaurants, attractions, and other diversions? Is public transportation available?
Of course this list is by no means comprehensive. An art student will want to check out the museums and studios on campus. A performer will want to tour the theatres and concert halls. You may want to see the Placement Office to discuss career services. . . But this list gives you a place to start.
Enjoy your time on campus. Take plenty of notes. And wear comfortable walking shoes.