Hi everyone! My name is Kim Keeley, and I am an admissions counselor at Clarkson. Campus tours are the best way to find out if you will like a certain school. When you take a tour, you see firsthand what campus is like, get a feel for the community and truly start to understand what it will be like to be part of that community. Tour guides are some of the most knowledgeable people on campus and can help you find out everything you need to know about a college. This is a great time to ask any questions you may have.
Sometimes, it is difficult to come up with questions. Maybe this is your first college tour and you are unsure of what you are supposed to be asking. Here are some common questions to ask during your tour. But please don’t ask only these questions during your time on campus! Ask whatever comes to mind. Campus tour guides have heard it all, so don’t be afraid to inquire about anything as you try to decide whether to apply, or potentially commit, to a school!
1. What is it like living on campus?
One of the biggest transitions in attending college is living in a dorm — likely with someone you have never met before. This can be intimidating, but it is also exciting! Whether your tour guide is a freshman or a senior, they have been through the transition recently and can give the best insight into day-to-day life. Make sure to ask them about laundry facilities, cars on campus, what items are allowed in the dorm rooms, etc. They will be able to provide you with some excellent tips on how to arrange your dorm room, too!
2 & 3. What are you involved in on campus? What is student life like?
Your tour guide is likely involved in a variety of activities on campus. Ask what they are involved in and what else there is to do on campus. They may not have the same interests as you, but that does not mean that what you want to pursue isn’t available. Your guide probably has friends who are involved in an array of activities and can speak to those as well. Also, ask what there is to do off campus. While most schools do offer a wide variety of clubs and organizations, there is also likely an assortment of activities and places to visit near campus.
4 & 5. How is the food?! What dining hall has the best food??
Always ask about the food! You will be eating three meals a day for four years, so it’s very important to know what your options will be. Most schools have several eateries that offer different options. Tour guides eat at these places every day and will give you an honest idea of the variety of available food, their favorite meals and where to find the healthiest options.
6. What is the weather like?
What are winters like? How much snow do you get? Is it muddy in the springtime? Do I need to bring my winter jacket before Thanksgiving? All of this information is helpful to know in order to be prepared for whatever weather situation you might face at a school. Knowing what clothing is appropriate to pack is important, but the weather can provide opportunities for fun as well! Sightseeing in the fall, skiing in the winter, or swimming or hanging out at the beach are all fun ways to take advantage of a new climate!
7. How accessible are your professors?
This is a really important question to ask during any college visit, and answers can vary from campus to campus. Each student takes about five classes per semester, so hearing how tour guides connect with their professors and advisors for extra help or research opportunities will help you get a feel for the learning atmosphere. Also, ask about tutoring and other support services on campus.
8. Have you completed an internship or co-op experience?
This is also an important question to ask when visiting any school since resources and availability vary from school to school. Gaining real work experience during your undergraduate career can help you stand out when applying for jobs! Your tour guide will likely either have already completed an internship or co-op or begun looking for one. Hearing firsthand from a student will give you a better idea of how this process works on a particular campus. Students love talking about their professional experiences! They also may have completed research with a professor. This is always interesting to hear about, especially if research is something you are hoping to pursue. This is also a good time to get information about study abroad options, so make sure to ask your tour guide if they have taken advantage of this opportunity!
9. What is the town like?
College settings are unique. Some schools are located in large cities and connected with businesses and community housing, while others are in small towns or completely set apart. Make sure you ask about getting around town and the area. What resources can be found nearby? Are there places you want to avoid? Where can you go to get a good meal? Knowing what the community around your school has to offer is important.
10. Why did you choose this school?
Last, but not least, ask why your tour guide choose to attend that particular school. They may have been in the same boat as you — completely confused, loved all of your campus tours — but what made this place really stand out to them? While each tour guide may have a different answer, it is always nice to hear what made them call that college or university “home” for four years.
I hope we see you on campus soon. It’s all about finding the right “fit,” and nothing will help you more than touring with one of our students. You can contact the Admissions Office to schedule your visit and tour any Monday-Saturday by calling 315-268-6480 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Best of luck in your college search!