How am I an insider? A little-known fact about me: I am a retired college campus tour guide. That’s me circled with my fellow tour guides, known as the Ambassadors.

The Ambassadors were group of students who had many different responsibilities around college campus including serving as hosts at special functions, making alumni donation calls, and one of my favorites, giving campus tours. I walked prospective students and their parents around the campus and told them all about the school I loved. I would show them the buildings for the different majors, the gym, library, dining hall, common area, dorms, etc. As Ambassadors, we had scripts we would follow, as well as answer any questions. I still remember the biggest question I would get asked, “Where is the beach?” Our school tag line was “UNC by the Sea” yet the beach was 10+ miles away.

Prepare your questions ahead of time – You don’t want to leave a college campus tour saying “I wished I had asked about X.” Think of the questions you want to ask ahead of time and write them down. Both you and your child should do this. I am sure your questions will be different. Click here for my free Campus Starter questions to help you and your teen.

Visit the school at night and on weekends – What is the atmosphere like around the college campus? Is there are lot of noise and partying? Is everyone in the library studying? Are there lots of people walking around or is it desolate? Is campus security around? You can ask these questions during a tour but also take a look yourself to get the real answer.

Ask to sit in on a class or two – This could be a general class and/or one in the major your child is interested in. This is a great opportunity to see teaching styles, interaction with students, class size, questions that are asked, etc.

Schedule time with a professor – This is a wonderful opportunity to ask questions about the expectations of students, workload, the best way to communicate, how often they are available, etc. If your child knows what they want to major in, they should definitely do this.

Preparing ahead, planning the questions you want to ask, and making appointments with the people you want to see will provide you with a fuller understanding of campus life for schools your child is interested in. Comment below with additional questions you may have or tour tips you’d like to share.

Is your child still unsure about what they want to major in? Being undecided can impact the years they are in school and how much money comes out of your wallet. Set up a complimentary strategy session to ask your questions so we can help. Click here to set up a time or give us a call at 678-761-3550.