When deciding what colleges to add to your list, touring a campus can be a valuable tool.

A campus tour is the best way to see what life at that school is really like. Most campus tours are led by outgoing student guides—and it’s their job to answer questions. They can help give you an inside-view into real experiences and a deeper understanding of what your day to day life will be like at the school. Here are a few things to consider asking on your campus tour.

1. How Much Time Do You Spend Studying and Doing Homework?

Emma B., a campus tour guide at Texas Christian University in Texas, says that while understanding how classes are taught is of course relevant, “the amount of work that you put into a class outside of a physical hour in a class is pretty important.” You’ll likely spend more time studying and writing papers than sitting in class. She adds that this question also “gives you an idea of how academically motivated students are.”

2. What Does the School Do to Make Students Feel Safer?

Christina N., a campus tour guide at SUNY Albany in New York, advises asking about safety protocols. Most schools have campus security, cameras, and emergency phones. Get into the specifics at each school you visit by asking questions like: “Do you feel safe while you’re at school?” and “What does your school do to make this possible?”

3. What Do You Do for Fun on Campus with Your Friends?

Emma B., the Texas Christian University tour guide, says she rarely gets personal questions from prospective students, but thinks asking questions like these are a good idea. She explains that getting information about the social elements of student life is what’s going to tell you if the school is a fit. Plus, tour guides often have a script they’re supposed to follow. Emma says asking them a personal question will get them off script, which gives you more accurate insight into how they feel about their school.

4. Do You Have a Favorite Professor?

Sara H., a tour guide at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, recommends getting personal. Instead of asking generalities about academics, she says, “It’s always a great idea to ask a tour guide if they have a favorite professor.” The guide may be able to share a personal anecdote that reveals more about the school’s professors than what’s in their online bios so you can get a better idea of whether they take meaningful interest in their students. Their answer can also highlight a worthwhile class you may not have considered.

5. What’s the Sports Culture Like?

Miranda R., a tour guide from Towson University in Maryland, often gets asked, “How good is the football team?” She says a better question to ask might be what the sports fan culture is like. You can look up the stats on the school sporting teams. Take advantage of having an actual student at your disposal by getting information you can’t find online—general campus sentiment toward athletes, student attendance at school-sponsored rallies, and personal takes on tailgating and the social scene around sports.

6. What Was Your Grocery List Like Freshman Year?

Emma says that one of the weirdest questions she was ever asked was, “What was your grocery list like?” It struck her as strange, but now she realizes it’s actually quite telling about freshman life. Asking this question can give you insights into the dining hall, how the campus cuisine helps with adjusting to life away from home and what student needs have to be fulfilled off campus.

7. What Do You Wish You Had Known Before You Attended This College?

This can be a positive way to ask about a tour guide’s not-so-positive experiences. Maybe they were unprepared for the fact that many students go home on the weekends. Maybe they wished that they had known how challenging it was to switch their major. No college is perfect, and hearing your tour guide’s experience can give you insight into things you may not have considered.

8. What Is Your Most Memorable Experience from This Semester?

If you ask about what your tour guide did over the weekend, you might hear a lot of the same sleep-study-hang out schedule from campus to campus. This question can reveal things that might make the college unique. From volunteering with the community to taking part in a beloved campus tradition to hearing about an epic roommate roadtrip, this can give you a glimpse into what real life might look like.

9. What Does Diversity Mean on Campus?

This question can give you insight into how the college handles diversity and inclusion. Many colleges will include diversity in their marketing materials, but hearing about a tour guide’s personal experience can be enlightening. You might want to also ask about resources and support systems on campus, as well as how administration has handled conflicts and differing viewpoints surrounding inequality.

Don’t be afraid to ask campus tour questions that will give you the information you need to make the best college list possible. Gather all the facts and expert opinions you can before you make the big decision of where to apply.

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