Summertime: Campus Tours (and drinks)

Summer brings a lot of things.  It brings the beach, vacations, sunburn, and my particular favorite, John Dalys en masse.  For those who are a bit too young to [legally] enjoy this delicious, thirst-quenching summertime beverage, the season also brings a lot of free time…to tour prospective college campuses.

I worked as a university host at my home university, Salisbury University, located on Maryland’s lower eastern shore (nice vicinity to the beach year round!), for four years as an undergrad.  It was one of the most rewarding jobs that I ever had, and it is what initially sparked my serious interest in higher education.  But, too many times I talked for a little over an hour by myself, not because I wouldn’t shut up, but because no one asked any questions.

Campus tours are your chance to get answers to the questions you can’t typically find on a school’s website or marketing materials.  And, while I think most campuses are typically best looking during late spring and summer, it’s really hard to get that real campus vibe.  So, here is a list of the top ten questions you should ask:

1.      What are your classes like?

2.      What have been your experiences with professors?

3.      What do students do on the weekends?

4.      Where is your favorite spot on campus? Why?

5.      What was it like living in the residence hall?

6.      What’s your typical day?

7.      What’s the deal with public transportation?  Really?

8.      What’s the party life like?

9.      How’s the food?

10.  Why did you pick [insert school here]?

Bonus question:

11.  Why are you a campus host? – I think it’s the best question you could possibly ask.  They’re not going to be a host if they aren’t passionate about the university—this gives them the chance to tell you why…they won’t lie.

For you parents who read this…you might also ask where the closest watering hole is, because if you’re touring campuses all summer…sometimes you just need to reward yourself.  Here’s to nice breezes, hot days, cold drinks, and finding the campus of your dreams!

What questions do you suggest prospective students and parents ask during their campus tour?