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20 do’s and don’ts of college campus tours


Summer is the time when parents go through the college drop-off dress rehearsal by driving far and wide visiting campuses to see which lucky institution will receive the fruits of that hard-earned college savings.

Since there’s no possible way to get a feel for what all four (to six) years will be like, it’s important to get as much from these brief visits as possible, and Jennie Harris, Assistant Dean of Admissions at Wake Forest University is here to help with 20 tips on how to do it right for both prospective students and parents.


1. Do your homework – Learn the basics about the college before you arrive. No need to waste everyone’s time asking questions about how many students attend the college and if there is a major in English.

2. Make it a family affair – Mom and Dad will likely be writing the checks, but they also have some good experience and insights into the college process. Talk openly about the colleges before you go, while you are there and after the visit.

3. Ask good questions – Campus tour guides love sharing stories, but a one-sided conversation is never much fun. Ask the tour guide about her favorite class, her best professor, the campus culture, new initiatives, and even the latest campus controversy. If all else fails, ask the guide why she chose that university. If she responds, “I don’t know,” take note!


1. Ask a student tour guide, “What are my chances of getting in?” – Sure, a guide can give you median SAT ranges and the number of students in the top 10% of their class, but he’s not part of the decision-making process.

2. Hog the tour guide – If you have developed an extensive list of questions, try to ask them at the end of the tour or give other people a chance to ask them.

3. Sport clothing from another school, especially from a rival institution – This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes it happens when students visit multiple schools in one trip.

Full story at Newswise.

Picking the right college.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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