4 Things to Consider While on Touring a College

Kaitey Crosby | Sun Prairie DECA
Photo courtesy of @TXDECA4 on Twitter.

#SummerofDECA is finally here! The seniors have graduated, finals are complete, and everyone is soaking up the summer sun. All the fun happening over the next three months will also create extravagant journeys across your state or country for the purpose of touring colleges!

For any incoming junior or senior, touring colleges this summer can help you prepare for life after high school and get closer to finding your dream college.

This past spring break, I toured two of the United States’ finest universities: University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University.

While touring these wonderful institutions, I came up with a list of four things you should consider when touring and/or choosing your future school:

1. The Culture

When choosing a postsecondary institution, you have to make sure you select a school that fits your vibe. You’ll be staying here for a few years, after all. Making sure that you feel comfortable in the school’s culture is key.

For example, when I go to my home state’s football games at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wis., I feel that I blend perfectly into the campus culture due to the fact that I’ve grown up in the Midwest. Madison’s traditions such as Fifth Quarter, kettle corn, our stellar marching band and tailgating prior to the game itself all create a culture that I can see myself in for the next four years.

Important things that can indicate a university’s culture can be size, location, if it’s rural or urban, and the values of other students that attend the school. Making sure you feel like a school’s culture supports you is very important when considering future schools.

2. Available Programs

When I toured Stanford last spring, I fell in LOVE! It was such a beautiful campus! However, when I looked at their website, I realized that Stanford didn’t have an undergraduate business school – bummer! This leads me to the second thing you have to consider when touring colleges: what they offer.

Sometimes you fall in love with a university, and you realize it doesn’t have a department that would support your ideal major. This will be a very important factor in deciding schools. I recommend you go on the website of each college you tour to see what schools, majors, and degrees they offer.  This may be the thing that puts each university apart.

3. Admission Requirements

Colleges these days can be very competitive. Therefore, when you’re choosing colleges to tour, tour colleges that fall within your admissions reach. This may be based on test scores, GPA, curriculum rigor, or distance.

It’s definitely alright to stretch or dream, however the need to being realistic when choosing colleges to tour is very important. For example, you might want to stay in-state to get a cheaper tuition. So, touring colleges across the country isn’t ideal. Keep all of this in mind while touring colleges.

4. Collegiate DECA

If you love love, love, LOVE DECA like me, you may want to continue your DECA journey into college. For me, having Collegiate DECA is nearly a must for any university I’m considering. Even if the college you dream of going to doesn’t have DECA, you can always start a chapter at your college or university!

Joining a Collegiate DECA chapter can help you to continue those life skills high school DECA taught you, and may help you land some amazing internships! Check out a complete list of all the colleges and universities with a Collegiate DECA chapter already in place here.

Overall, I hope these four considerations can help you narrow down your college choices in order to find your dream school. While touring, it’s important to keep an open mind, but taking in these four considerations can help ease the decision making process during and/or after touring colleges. Taking these four things into account can help ensure that your time after high school will be #Limitless!

This article was written by Sun Prairie DECA Vice President of Competitive Excellence of Sun Prairie, Katie Crosby. You can follow Kaitey on Twitter @kaiteycrosby.

Categories: Choosing A College, College, College & Career Advice