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Four Reasons to Go In-Person on a College Tour

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

With more businesses opening, pandemic protocols lessening, and spring break quickly approaching, it is the perfect time for families to visit potential universities. While it may seem easier and save gas money to just stay at home and Zoom into a virtual session, I would encourage families to visit some of those perspective colleges. Nothing compares to a live, in-person walk through the campus.


Here are just a few reasons why you may want to consider adding a college tour to your spring break adventure:

  • A real sense of what the college is like. Websites, reviews, and guidebooks cannot compare to walking around and experiencing the college firsthand. For many students, talking with current students, and seeing the dorms and buildings in person helps the university feel real and can assist them in knowing if this college is a good fit.

  • Glean an insider’s perspective. College tours and information sessions can let you know more about programs, ask questions, and meet other prospective students. Also, it’s one thing to say a five-hour drive isn’t that bad and another to actually do it on a weekend. Driving to the school can let you experience just how far the college may be from home.

  • Be able to write a well-written “Why Us” essay. Walking around a college, imagining what life will be like when you are there, not only motivates a student to write an excellent “Why us” supplemental essay, but if a student jots down some of the reasons, programs, professors, classes that they are excited about, and relates those facts to their personal interests, then they can craft a strong why us essay.

  • Show a “demonstrated interest” in the college. Some schools want to see if the applicant is really interested in attending their university. Many admissions emphasize a “holistic” approach to admission where they are looking at each applicant as a whole person, not just bits of data. So, for some schools, it may be in your favor to have your name written on a list that you attended a tour. For other colleges, they have so much interest, they do not track attendance. Of course, universities understand if you live far away and cannot travel for an in-person tour.

Most students take four to five years to earn their degree. That’s a big commitment to make and an in-person tour can aid in determining if a school is a good fit. I would highly encourage you to add a college tour to your spring break or summer adventure!

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1 Comment


diane
May 04, 2022

Great post! Your point about the "why us" essay is excellent. I agree with taking notes - that really helps my students recall what sets campuses apart from each other.

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