Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Are you going on a college tour?

One of the favorite things of potential college students is to make a visit to the campus and take the tour. If you do that, you need to be aware that the college will put on its best side. They will not really show you what college life is like unless you ask. If you are on a campus tour, have fun, but make it a working vacation. Ask hard questions.

All students today need laptops. Internet access is a must for most college classes and doing research online is very streamlined. You should find out what areas of the campus have wi-fi. If you can only get it in a certain areas or buildings, you need to know that. Wi-fi in the dorms, or at least internet wired access in the dorms is a must.

Check out what crimes have been committed on or near campus in the last year. Do you notice the college police? Do they even have a college police? Does the college have safety programs like escorting you to the dorm late at night? Get to know how safe the campus is.

Food can make or break your college experience. Students run on their stomachs. What is the food like? Is there a large selection of different types of food? Do they have your favorites? Are their food choices all over campus, or are they all located near the commons or dining hall? You should also do some sampling of many foods on campus.

Dorms are wear you may be spending a lot of your time. Sleeping and studying. Are they comfortable? Can you envision yourself living for 9 months in the dorms they offer? Ask some of the current students what they think of the dorms.

Does the tour take you to classrooms and classes in progress? If class size is a concern, try and find out the average class size.

Find some current freshman on campus and drill them on what it was like starting college there and how they handled moving away from home. They will be able to tip you off on how the college helps freshmen succeed and be comfortable in college.

Normally a current student leads the campus tour. If yours is led by one, ask them questions. Even though they are trying to sell the school, they will be as honest as they can. Ask them what their experience is at the college.

Whew! That's a lot of questions and concerns! You may have thought that a college campus tout was just to have fun and be treated. It is. But in between the fun, you need to get some solid information about the school so you can make the best decision.

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