Once you’ve scheduled some campus tours at the top colleges on your list, it’s time to think about getting the most out of your trip. Like we’ve said before, it’s best to come with questions. You probably have a few already in mind for your tour guide (typically a student from the school), and that’s great. But here are some additional inquiries you may not have thought of, that could turn out to be really insightful.
1. What do you look forward to on your trip back to campus after a long break? You’re in the car, you’re sick of Angry Birds, what can’t you wait to get back to school for? Most students will tell you about something other than the credits they need to finish a degree. It could be a particular club or a great group of friends. Admissions teams spend a lot of time thinking about how to frame a clear picture of their schools, but nothing beats hearing personal experiences.
2. What don’t those glossy brochures tell me about this college? It shouldn’t shock you to hear that no campus is perfect. But imperfections are big to some and small to others (“the chair backs in the library are stiff, and now I’m Facebook friends with my chiropractor” vs. “the only good chair is a stiff-backed chair to reinforce my already exquisite posture.”) Your tour is an opportunity to find out what life around campus is really like, so it’s okay to ask your guide to spill the beans.
3. Where can I go on campus when I want to get away (other than the library; you’ll see plenty of the library)? Sometimes we need a few quiet minutes or hours to ourselves. Find out where you can go to get some reading done or make a few uninterrupted phone calls back home. Chances are your tour guide shows you some pretty cool spots on campus that don’t get a dedicated page on the school’s website.
Now you have a few can’t-miss questions for your upcoming tours and all you have left to do is ask them. If you haven’t already, make a date to come see Becker.