Do’s and Don’ts of College Touring

Quick tips and easy, but important, questions to ask while on college tours.

Colleges can seem tedious to both juniors and seniors in high school. There are many ways to mentally and physically prepare for college. One way is to visit colleges before applying to get to know what type of college you are looking for and if they have what you want in the college. Here are some ways to make the most of your college tours.


  • Vary the types of colleges you look at. This gives you an idea of what type of colleges you like: City vs. Rural, Big vs. Small, Public vs. Private. 
  • Make a good impression.You will most likely be meeting someone from admissions that holds sway over you being able to attend the school.
  • Dress to impress, but not too much.  You want too look presentable, but not as if you are going to prom or formal job interview. It’s always better to not look like a homeless person when going into a new place, and speaking to who might be your future administration personnel and advisors.
  • Talking to students that aren’t the tour guide can be helpful, because the tour guides are paid to talk about all of the positives of the school.
  • Do ask questions, most tour guides love questions because it lets them know what they need to work on later on.


  • Don’t ask questions that can be found on the school’s website. If a school is a possibility for you, you should have already gone through the website to see if it has some qualities that you want.
  • If the school has had some, now, famous people graduate, don’t keep asking about them or go looking for them. Alumni tend to come by every once in awhile to do a talk or lecture. If they teach at the school, you’ll probably see them around the school if you do attend there.
  • The “social scene” can be a factor in your final decision, but don’t make it the leading one.
  • Don’t get too personal with your tour guide. It’s okay to ask them about their experiences but it’s best not dig too deep.
    • No embarrassing questions
    • Don’t be too invasive (don’t keep pestering them about the same thing)
    • Don’t ask about their financial aid plan. It is okay to ask about the average plan.
  • If you had one of the worst tour guides in the history of tour guides, make up your own mind about the college, don’t let them keep you from going to your top school if you can.

Some questions to ask your tour guide

  • Classes – ask about your major and some of the classes you might take,
  • How much time is spent on homework is always nice to know.
  • Class sizes – most schools will tell you the average class size in the information section, but if you missed it or weren’t listening the tour guides would know.
  • It is always alright with the tour guides if you ask them what they like most about the school and their experiences with the classes they take.
  • The greek life and of the campuses were dry or wet (if alcohol is allowed or not) are good things to know now.
  • Dorm sizes and styles for freshman vs. upperclassmen is nice to know.
  • Parking pass costs and availability for freshmen can be helpful to know.
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