The Only College Campus Tour You Should Take Is Your Own!

by on January 16th, 2011
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College. It’s every parent’s dream for their child: a better future. We want our kids to apply to and get accepted into the school of our, I mean their, dreams. But, helping your children start their search can be a daunting task. So, what do we do first?

We start with the highly recommended campus tour. Now, for those of you that don’t know, most colleges pick student ambassadors to guide you around the campus. Keep in mind that the ambassadors are not chosen because they plan on telling you anything negative about the school. Let’s just say, I learned a few lessons the hard way. But, my pain is your gain!

First, I recommend that you visit the campus several times and at different times: during the day, at night, at the beginning of a semester, and at the end. See what’s really happening. Are people going to class or are they just hanging out? Are they up partying all night? How easy is it to get into a dorm if you’re not a student? How often does campus security patrol? Don’t forget to take a look at what’s going on right outside the campus too? Are there residential or commercial neighborhoods around? Are they safe?

Talk to random students. Get their honest opinion of the school. What’s their favorite thing about the school? What is their biggest gripe about? Has the school lived up to its reputation? Are they planning to come back next semester? Or, do they plan on transferring?

Speak to random alumni as well. Try looking them up on the various social networking sites. Would they go to that school if they had to do it all over again? Was the education they received worth the price? How quickly did they find a job after graduation? Did they use the student services? Would they recommend it?

Remember, ultimately, colleges and universities are a business. They sell educational services. So, of course they are going to put their best foot forward when marketing their campus. No business makes a sale by advertising it’s not so popular features. It doesn’t mean they are lying to you. It just means they took their mother’s advice when she said don’t answer more than you have to.

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