The first visit to campus is an exciting start to a new chapter in life for students everywhere.
“Over 5,000 students participate in a campus tour each year. The Office of Admissions offers a variety of tours programs: Monday – Friday visits at 10AM and 2PM, Saturday preview days, transfer tours, and group tours,”
explains Scott Argo, Associate Director for the Office of Academic Admissions. With thousands of colleges to choose from across the country, prepare yourself before your visit for the best first-impression of a campus you’ll be spending the next few years with.
1. Make a list of questions before your visit & don’t be shy about asking them.
Campus tours are packed with information, so it’s easy to forget to ask questions. Start with making a list of features that are important to you. This should include things like: student activities, class size, commute time, campus housing, or amenities. You can use this list to prepare questions to ask during your visit. For example, if fitness is important to you ask your guide if there’s an on-campus fitness center, what type of classes it offers, if cost is included in tuition, if the guide knows of any other popular work out spots, and where you can find more information about it. Augusta University campus tours start with a 20-30 minute information session led by professional admissions counselors. During the information session, ask questions about academics, financial aid, admissions requirements, and student life.
2. If possible, schedule a visit during the Fall or Spring semesters.
Visiting in the Fall or Spring is an excellent way to see how the campus functions when classes are in session. Not every school will offer tours during these semesters so be prepared to ask about how the campus is different during this time and what to expect when students return. For Augusta, Scott says “Monday and Friday are always are our largest tours. Tuesday through Thursday isn’t as busy. We always recommend the morning vs. afternoon, especially in the summer due to the heat. After the tour, you can eat in the JSAC Café and stop by other offices where you may have questions like Financial Aid, the Honors Program, or Military and Veterans Services. Preview days are offered on multiple Saturdays during the Fall and Spring. It is the best way to get a firsthand glimpse of life as an AU student, especially since most departments have a representative available to answer questions.”
3. Reach out to current students.
If class is in session, introduce yourself to students on campus and ask them about the items on your list. Talk with them about their opinion on where the best places to study are, what kind of student organizations they’re involved with, or what their favorite part of the campus or city is. Connecting with current students is a great way to make a personal connection with the university and you might just make a new friend! Augusta University tour guides are current students, trained to answer any questions and available to share their own first-hand experiences.
4. Delve into the culture.
If possible, take a virtual tour of the campus first and study any campus maps. Make a note of the buildings you expect to spend a lot of time in. Augusta University offers a unique virtual tour designed to showcase our history and city in a convenient manner. Once you’re on campus, pay more attention to the culture and vibe of the campus. Recognize which areas of campus you’ll be spending most of your time in and spend most of your time there trying out some every day activities:
- Try the food at the cafeterias or local restaurants.
- Wander around the residence halls and libraries.
- Test out the equipment in the wellness or activity centers.
- Take a peek into the study rooms or computer labs.
- Take a stroll around the green space.
5. Venture off campus.
The surrounding area and neighborhoods are just as important at the campus itself. Take a drive or walk around the perimeter of the campus; pay attention to traffic, if there are any sidewalks or walking trails, or what the local transportation system is. Downtown Augusta provides a great opportunity for student life and family life, which helps to make Augusta University a desired location for students in the surrounding area. Spend some time exploring the area to get a sense of potential employment opportunities, gyms to join, parks to hang out at, restaurants to eat at, or anywhere you feel would be an integral part of your life.
6. Get contact information.
Most schools have active social media communities that can help connect you with other students who have your same interests. Schools also use this space to feature programs, professors and student life. Ask your guide about their school’s accounts, hashtags you should follow or groups you can join. Don’t forget to exchange emails with your tour guide, any students or faculty members you meet in case you have a questions later. Tip within a tip: While you’re on the tour, start a collection of business cards from important offices that you’ll need in the future like Financial Aid, Admissions or the program you’re interested in majoring in. You’ll avoid spending a lot time searching for the contact information and know exactly who to call or email when you need them.
7. Take pictures, lots of pictures.
Take pictures of everything: campus landscapes, classrooms, lab space, activity rooms, all of it. You should take pictures of the things you like and the things you don’t like. Photos are great reminders and you can use them to compare campuses.
We hope these tips helped to make your campus visits go just a little bit smoother, and we look forward to all the interested students looking to tour Augusta University! One final tip for parents: Let the student experience the campus. We encourage parents to have a conversation prior to the visit with their students and discuss questions they want to ask. When they are on campus, let the student ask the questions. On the ride home, discuss the tour. If you visit during a non-peak time on campus, come back and explore on your own and see what campus is like without a tour guide.