By Jeannie Borin M.Ed. when you are visiting colleges, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the many buildings, programs, and informational tours. Preparing a preplanned checklist of what you want to see and do while on campus is advantageous. Each year my staff and I tour a myriad of universities across the country. Here are some things we look for on each campus visit. Print this out and make the most out of your tour: Admission Criteria To Look For – Requirements and What to Include with the Application– When to Apply– GPA & Test Scores (if required)– Scholarships Offered– Student Support/Counseling Center Academic Criteria To Check Off – Professor Availability– Popular Programs– Average Size of Class– Possible Internships Available– Study Abroad Opportunities– Available Technology– Library Facilities and Resources Campus Life Items For Your Checklist – Greek – Fraternities/Sororities– Weekend Activities– Special Campus Events– How Many Students Live on Campus? Commute?– Sporting Events– Dining Facilities– Party Scene Campus Setting – Located of College (Urban vs. Rural)– Surrounding Community (College Town) Look of the College – Dorms and Nearby Housing– Lecture Halls & Classrooms– Clean, Easy Access, Transportation– Libraries– Security & Safety, Campus Police Availability– Current Building Projects– How Well Are Current Facilities Maintained?– Recreation Center Additional Suggestions For Your College Tour Checklist – Take a campus informational tour– Set up an interview with an admission officer– Audit a course– Speak with a professor or representative at the department in your field of interest– If you are pursuing athletics, talk to a coach in your sport– If possible, stay overnight in a dorm with a friend or relative– Pick up the campus newspaper– Spend time in the Student Union and eat in the cafeteria– Speak to students and ask questions– Find the center of campus and be an observer– Take a look at the college bookstore– Ask a student what he/she likes and dislikes about the college– Tour the community surrounding the campus– Ask yourself if you could feel at home at this college– Take lots of notes and pictures Ultimately, the most important thing is finding the right match for you. Your comfort level and ability to intertwine with students and faculty will help you know what you want come decision time. What should you consider about campus life when comparing colleges? Think about the fraternities and sororities onsite, weekend activities offered, sporting events available, dining facilities, and how many students live on campus. Also, consider the party scene and the overall campus atmosphere. What should you consider when touring a college campus visit? Take a closer look at the overall cleanliness of the campus, the facilities available, and the amount of time it takes to go from one area to the next. Take notes and pictures to refer to later as you compare several locations. Is a college campus tour worth it? In many cases, a campus tour of a college enables students to see the campus up close. This may include the dorms, dining facilities, and facilities. It may also enable students to get a feel for the people on campus and the overall community present.