Reasons to Take College Tours

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College tours are a great way to help students decide what school they might like to attend.  I tagged along when my older sister started doing college tours and did a few of my own when I was a sophomore and junior in high school.  My dream school was UCLA, where I would study acting after I got my bachelors, and I have fond memories of touring the campus with my Grandpa.  The only other campus tour I remember was at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where I attended and graduated from.

Reasons to take college tours

This picture is from my college tour of UCLA

I spent my sophomore year of college attending CSUMB in California.  Luckily, my college was part of the National Student Exchange program which allowed me to switch schools for one year without transferring.  Since I was living in Tennessee it was not convenient for me to travel to Monterey, CA, to take a campus tour.  I liked everything that I saw on the schools website.  Especially the fact that the beach was only a few miles from the dorms.  While I ended up having the best experience I was nervous about going to a school that I had never checked out in person.  I understand that you will not always have the opportunity to tour all of the schools that you apply to.  What I do want to encourage though is touring the ones that you can.

College tours can be helpful when it comes to choosing the right school for you.  The tours give you a chance to learn about the school from a student.  It gives you an opportunity to decide if you can see yourself going there.  You will get to see different buildings on campus and typically get to see what some of the dorm rooms look like.  When I visited UTC I was interested in going there but once I saw the dorms it became my first choice for an in state school.  UTC has dorm rooms that have individual bedrooms with full sized beds as well as full kitchens.  After visiting schools with small and cramped dorm rooms I was extremely impressed by what I saw at UTC.  If you have time I would also encourage you to check out the area around the college.  I had been to Chattanooga before but exploring the city after my tour helped me feel even better about my decision.

Before you decide which schools you should take tours of I would encourage you to make a list of what you are looking for in a school.  Once you know what you want you can do some preliminary research on the internet to see what schools you like.  I would encourage you to tour at least two to five different schools.  Even though I knew getting into UCLA as an out of state student would be a long shot it was still important for me to tour my dream school.  It confirmed my belief that it was the perfect school for me.  However, that won’t always be the case.  You could think that a school is the right one until you visit it and realize that it is not quite what you were expecting.

Be sure to check out various college websites to see how you can reserve a spot on a campus tour.

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26 thoughts on “Reasons to Take College Tours

  • cori

    Agree! College tours made the decision for me! One campus had NO trees! Just bare land all around. Something about it seemed off to me. The bigger university had several oak hammocks and trees everywhere! LOVED it!

  • Melisa

    Great advice! I’m several years away from college tours myself, but this is excellent for anyone with it currently on their plate.

  • Jill @ RunEatSnap

    I toured a lot of schools before undergrad but more so before grad school. For grad school, the schools I was considering were all over the country and I wanted to make sure it was the right fit before I committed to spending two years there. I am so glad I was able to visit the schools because one of the schools I really loved on paper, I hated in person and am so glad I didn’t go there.

  • Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    Making the decision of which college to attend is such an important one! I remember going on various college tours when I was deciding which college to attend. You can get so much more of a feel of the environment on campus when you’re there in person!

  • Heather

    I wish my parents would have been more involved in preparing and choosing a school, maybe I would have found a school I liked and stuck with it! Tours are great, I had no idea then!

  • Aurora

    I never really did any college tours but those are awesome tips you mentioned! How was UCLA? I bet there were no words to describe your excitement that day. That’s what I would’ve felt!

    By the way, would you be interested in writing a guest post on my college blog

  • Heather

    I did a few local college tours. I think its important for every prospective student to get a tour or two in to see where they’d like to attend.

  • Kathy Kenny Ngo

    I wish they had more of that in here. Right now everyone just applies base on what people say about the school.

  • Eugenia

    Great suggestions! I agree, campus tours can really help you determine whether a college is the right place for you. It is a best way to explore the campus, meet with faculty and staff and hear from current students about their experiences!

  • Elizabeth O.

    College tours are very helpful. Especially since you’ll be spending four years or so in a particular university or college, it would be good to do your own tour to see if you really like the environment or not.

  • Rosey

    I used to conduct college tours years ago. I think they are a definite way to help children and parents decide if a school is a good fit.

  • Ana De- Jesus

    I love that, I think it is important to tour any institution that you will be studying at and it is a great idea to make a list too!

  • Dawn McAlexander

    My daughter is getting ready to start working on her Bachelors and will be finishing her Associates this spring. It’s fun to check out all the colleges and make a decision.

  • Erinn S

    My son applied to a few schools and we made it to 1 of them on tour day. He has committed to the one we toured. Something about seeing it and being there to give that that itch

  • Kiwi

    I think college tours are super important. I will be honest I never got a chance to take too many. I took one as a random selection in 7th grade and until this day I couldnt tell you which college it was. I did go to college but not because of a tour, I just scouted it out on my own.

  • Amy Jones

    i Love tours! they show you the most interesting parts of any route, i often take food tours so i can get to now every peculiar restaurant there is wherever i go.

  • Mardene Carr

    I have never taken a college tour….we have 2 main universities in Jamaica so you know where you are going and number one is University of the West Indies. Then we work our way down from that…LOL

  • Colette S

    This is a very good article on the topic.
    I agree to have a list and do the college tours.
    I remember when my husband visited his alma mater, there were quite a few tours going on.