Campus tours are an excellent way for a university to show you all the school offers. Touring campuses changed during the pandemic, with schools having to present everything in a virtual environment. This has its advantages, though. While your college list is still growing, go on those virtual tours and take advantage of the virtual information sessions. They are often in a question-and-answer format, so you can ask questions about the campus or program that interests you before seeing the school. You can also speak to a student currently attending the school. They’ve been in your shoes and know how important it is to have a solid college list and do your research.
Before you tour a school virtually or in person, check them out online. What are your first impressions? What do you think about the campus at first glance? Those things are essential to write down- it might change if you see the campus in person. No doubt, a virtual tour can’t deliver the whole campus experience, but it’s an excellent (and free) way to get a sneak peek at where your next four years might take you.
I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Dartmouth in person, but I saw a tour online during the fall. The student braved the snow- and it was snowing hard, showing us the many academic buildings and hot spots on campus. Another creative virtual tour was Bard. They made you feel like you had stepped on campus, even though I hadn’t left my office. Rollins College is an architectural feast for the eyes and an equally welcoming and spectacular community.
Great questions to ask are: Why did they choose x school? What was the deciding factor? Make sure you see a typical room in a residence hall. Ask to see the library and the dining hall. Plan the trip and ask to sit in on a class. Professors do this all the time. Find out how accessible the faculty and staff are when you have a question because you will look at some point. Where do students hang out on campus or near campus? Check out those hot spots and see what you think. Does this feel like a place you can call home? Do you want to meet with an admissions counselor? Have an interview? Let’s practice and do a mock interview. Are you ready to share a resume of your academic and extracurricular achievements? You should!
Most importantly, the “best” school is up to you. What is best for someone else might not be for you, and the right fit could be just around the corner. I am so honored to take the journey with you.