College tours. Does it really help? What’s the point? Is it not enough to look at the college online and learn about the campus and lifestyle in that way?
These are questions that are often brought up by high schoolers, particularly upperclassmen whose college application process is in the near future. As a rising senior, I, too, had wondered about this in the past.
Though it may appear as if going on campus tours is just another tedious, money-spending task on the “To-do before college” list, it truly is an experience you will want to have before applying to select colleges.
Speaking to alumni, emailing back and forth with students or faculty, or even reading online on the official school website or Facebook page can give you a good amount of information about the school and what life at the college is like. However, being on campus, watching the people interact, and learning about the student life there stands in stark contrast with simply learning from another source.
Going on campus tours can really change your opinion about a school. You may have initially desired to attend a larger school and have the “big college experience,” but after visiting the school and watching thousands of people in all areas of the campus at all times, changing your mind. You may have wanted to experience the city life during your college years, but after visiting a school directly in the busy streets of New York and seeing and experiencing what life would be like, changing your mind and wanting to attend a school with a college town instead. You may have thought you wanted your school to be in a location with all four seasons, but after visiting a school in the east coast in the winter, changed your mind into wanting to attend school in California where shorts and a t-shirt is year-round attire.
Every college is unique, and like every college counselor says, it’s important to find one that is a good fit for you. Though it’s possible to learn just as much about the college through other means, going on a college campus tour can really help in limiting down your choices before you apply.