Campus tours: pointing you in the right direction

By Maria Montemayor

Posted on August 3, 2021

You have applied to or have been accepted into several colleges or universities, but you aren’t sure which school to choose. All of the programs seem similar to each other, but you don’t know what campus life will be like. If you would like the opportunity to compare campuses, you can book campus tours.

What are campus tours?

Campus tours are designed to help prospective students get acquainted with specific areas of a campus. Campus tour guides are generally current students who show prospective students areas where they will eat (dining halls), study (library), and rest (dorms and lounges). During the tour, guides point out buildings and areas, share brief stories of their campus experience, and answer questions about campus life. Parents of prospective students are allowed to join the tour with their children.

Don’t book a campus tour expecting to get freebies or information about your specific program. Campus and college tours are mainly for prospective students to see some amenities and decide if they would like to live on campus.

I know that I’m not going to live on campus. Can I still book a campus tour?

Yes, even if you choose to live off-campus or to commute, you can still book a campus tour. If it is a school you would like to attend, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with its study and dining areas.


How many tours should I go on?

While it may be tempting for you to visit as many campuses as possible, it might not be the best use of your time. Tours can be long and tiring since you will be walking around a lot. It is best to visit the two schools you are most serious about. However, if you’re unsure if you would like to apply or attend a certain school, and have the means to visit, then there is no downside to taking a tour. If you are already familiar with a school or city, visit a school you are unfamiliar with.

Should I book a tour if I am leaning towards one school?

Some students already have their heart set on one school and when they do a tour at another school, they discover they like the other one more! Even if you are certain you would like to attend one school, you can benefit from doing a tour at another to see what you might be missing.


I have already registered at a school. Should I book a campus tour there?

Once you’ve registered at a school, you don’t need to book a campus tour, but you can if you’d like for your parents to join you. Your school will most likely have a frosh week, which is an orientation before the start of the academic year where first-year students can build strong bonds with their classmates by participating in fun activities. Frosh week may include a campus tour.

If you are a commuter student, many colleges and universities offer the option to room with someone in residence during that week so that you can still participate.

I don’t feel comfortable attending a campus tour in person. Can I attend a virtual tour?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in-person campus tours have been put on hold. To support social distancing measures, many campuses do offer virtual, VR, and online guided tours. You can check out the websites of the campuses you’re interested in to access or enquire about their virtual tours.

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