Some students don’t want to go to college near their hometown or even in their state – so how do they tour colleges that are far away? Students in this position can take an online tour, but if their doing an in-person tour, planning is necessary. Here are some tips to make the best decisions for your college tour.
1. Take an Online Tour
Especially early on in your college search, taking an online tour of faraway colleges can be a good bet. This allows you to see the school, classrooms, dorm rooms, dining halls, campus, and town without leaving the comfort of your own home. And, of course, without all the expenses of taking a trip to a different state or other part of the country.
However, keep in mind that the college is only showing you what they want to see with these official online tours. Searching for videos done by current students and alumni or looking at reviews can give you supplemental information for your tour.
2. Considering Touring After Acceptance
As mentioned before, traveling can be expensive. And if you have quite a few colleges on your list that are far away, those costs can add up fast. So, when should you start touring colleges?
Some recommend only making the trip to colleges after you’ve been accepted, rather than before you complete your applications. This will help ensure you’re not throwing away money.
If you take this route, though, you’ll definitely want to put work into online research before you apply to ensure it’s what you’re looking for in a college. But it’s absolutely okay if you visit the campus and decide it’s not for you. It’s better to find out at that point than discover it’s not a good fit for you after tuition is paid!
3. Plan Ahead (And Make a Trip of It!)
Whether you go before you complete your applications or after you have an acceptance letter in hand, planning ahead is a must! You will want to make a list of what you want to see on the college campus and in the surrounding town. Taking an official tour is a good idea, but you should also set aside time to explore on your own. Talk to current students on campus and try to explore areas that weren’t on the official tour, online or in-person. Just make sure you’re not going anywhere you aren’t allowed to be.
It’s also a good idea to make a trip of it. After all, you’ve traveled all this way, you should have a bit of fun. Take in some of the sights and offerings in the nearby town or city. You could visit a museum, grab a bite at a well-known restaurant, take a hike, or something else! Do a bit of research before your trip. This help it feel a bit like a vacation, and you’ll also get a better idea of the surrounding areas.
Touring a college far away isn’t always financially feasible for all students. If you’re struggling to make it out for a tour, ask your college for advice. Especially if they don’t have a virtual tour available to interested students. But visiting the campus is always a good idea as it will help ensure the school is a good fit for you!
Looking to go to college in another state? Our College Match tool allows you to search by location!