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College Tour Secrets

College Tour Secrets

By Ryan Uricks

October 04, 2008

College tours provide a great opportunity for you to visit campus and learn more about what a college has to offer. However, tour guides are told to stick with talking points and established routes to pass through the nicest parts of campus. To become an astute prospective student, you’re going to have to investigate off the beaten path. Here are some tips to do after the college tour.

Look at the ugly buildings

If you’re a fan of architecture, then this might depress you, but usually the ugliest buildings are the dorms. Also, keep in mind where your classes are held. If your biotechnology major requires cutting-edge technology and equipment, but the science building still has Windows 95 and slide rules (ask your parents), then you might have to look elsewhere.

Get off Campus

You may live and study on campus, but you’ll be going in town during the weekend. Campuses can islands in the middle of depressed neighborhoods, like Yale and New Haven, where crime can be a problem. Also, it’s best to find out how to get around town, especially if the college is in a city.

Talk to Students

Your tour guide is one student, but they can be hard to crack with the admissions office breathing down their neck. After the tour, scout out some students to talk to. If you visit a class as part of your tour, buddy up with a student who you can talk to about their major, what they think of the school, and classes.

Snoop Around

Open every unlocked door you find. Look around the student union more closely, drop by the theatre, history, or German literature departments. If this is your dream school, or you’re already admitted, it’s never to early to get some information.


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