With the close of the school year, it is the beginning of college visits. When I was in high school, I attended 19 college tours (I know, I’m a bit crazy). I visited schools from Boston to Atlanta, and everywhere in between. After each college tour, I was even more confused. All of the colleges blended together into my head. It seemed like all of the schools had high-quality academics, great student life and many opportunities for research.
Today the tables have turned. I have given over 75 tours to prospective W&M students. During my time tour guiding and tour taking, I have figured out how to make your campus tour more effective. Here is my guide to tour taking:
- Do you research before. You can find information online about student-to-faculty ratios and the percentage of students who live on campus. Use your tour to learn information that you cannot receive online, such as the tour guide’s experience with registering for classes and living in the dorms.
- Determine what is important to you. Is Division I sports important? Is opportunities to study abroad a necessity? When you are on the tour, lookout for the important things. If you want to learn Chinese in college, ask if the school has language houses or study abroad opportunities.
- After the tour, write down what you liked and disliked about the school. Did you like the small class settings, but disliked the research opportunities? Did you like the historic traditions, but disliked the urban setting? Jot down your thoughts so you can remember for later.
Happy tour taking!
To learn more about visiting W&M, visit Undergraduate Admission.