What To Ask on Campus Tours
If you have questions about what college is like, campus tour guides have the answers. You'll get a lot out of visiting colleges, but at Saint Louis University, the campus tour guides are current undergraduate students — so they won't just tell you about dorms, they can also tell you where to get a good grilled cheese sandwich, if they feel safe walking around campus at night and if you can paint your dorm room. (Sorry; the answer to that that last one is no, by the way.)
What Happens on a Campus Tour?
"Showing off campus is like showing off my home," says one tour guide, who at SLU are known as “ambassadors.” Here are some of the most popular questions our ambassadors hear, and a few suggestions for things to ask on your tour:
- Why did you choose SLU?
- How often do students go home on the weekends?
- What's it like in the residence halls?
- What's a Billiken?
But SLU's tour leaders will also give you a personal look at campus. "I try to keep my campus tours in the first person," says another ambassador. "I tell my guests, 'I like to go to Busch Student Center; this is where I sit in class; this is where my friends come to throw a Frisbee around; that kind of stuff.'"
Don't Ask These College Questions
Are there any questions you shouldn't ask on a college tour? Keep the focus on yourself, not your guide. So stay away from asking them about their GPA, their SAT score, their financial aid package and other topics that might be sensitive.
But never hesitate to ask a question about the university's academics, campus life or even the architectural features you notice around campus. (At SLU, highlights include the gorgeous view inside College Church and Samuel Cupples House — some people think it looks like Hogwarts.)
"The best part is when the campus tour ends and a student says to me that she can tell how much I love my school," a SLU ambassador says.
At SLU, there are actually two ways to connect with current students. One is on the campus visit. The other is the Billiken Buddy program, where high school students hang out with undergrads for a night in the residence halls and shadow them to classes.