Going on a college tour is not only to find out about the education the school will be providing you, but also about the location you'll be living in for the next few years.
Within a day or less, you get to see and possibly decide if this college town is where you want to live! So.... my recommendation is to head in like a tourist.
I have attended 5 colleges, and have toured over 15 schools, so I've had my share of college travel.
I am super excited because I have published a Guide to College Tours Workbook! In this workbook you will be able to answer questions for up to 10 schools; grade those schools on academics, room & board, extracurriculars, and overall experience; then compare all of the schools you've toured to choose your new home! I am so excited about this new book to help you find the school that is more than a school, but a home!
I definitely wish that I had something like this to guide me when I was school searching!
Click here to order A Guide to College Tours Workbook on Amazon!
Here are a couple of tips that aren't in my book:
Before or after the tour, go explore the school yourself. This will allow you to see a bit more of campus than just what they show you. Usually students are really nice and will let you into buildings that may have a lock on them, like dorm buildings. All you have to do is ask.
Talk to other students, and ask them what they do on weekends on or off campus.
Ask about the worst things about being there! This sounds like a terrible question, but the tour won't tell you anything bad because they want you to go there. This way you can have an idea of your definition of bad or uncomfortable.
Go see the sights the city has to offer. Is there a downtown? Are there mountains to hike, rivers to tube on, or a beach to chill at?
Where is the closest Walmart/grocery store? Will you have a car or will you be restricted to campus?
Go get a taste of your new possible home!