A campus tour is a tour of a college or university's campus. Prospective students, their family members and other visitors take campus tours to learn about the college or university's facilities, as well as student life, culture on campus, academics, and programs offered by the institution. During these tours prospective students are able to learn about the built environment, the physical/sensory environment, the sound environment, and the visual environment of the institution. These tours are normally walking tours that typically last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, and groups are usually between ten and thirty visitors. Campus tours are often preceded by an information session, presented by a member of the admissions staff. Many campus tours include a visit to a residence hall room and a classroom or lecture hall. At most schools, tours are led by students, although admissions office staff or other representatives of the school may also be tour guides. At some institutions, becoming a student tour guide is a rigorous process and the job is a respected position on campus. Most University’s offer handicap accessibility and/or walk-in tour options (call the University directly for more information)”.
Campus tours are usually free, as they promote the institution and encourage prospective students to apply. Often, schools may even give visitors T-shirts or other gifts for taking a tour. For prospective students, some schools provide overnight accommodation and meals, and students may sit-in on a class during their visit. Some programs pair a prospective student with a current student and allow the prospective student to shadow the current student for a day. Campus tours are a great to learn if an institution is the right fit for a student and their family members. It is suggested to prepare questions to ask during the campus tour that way you can ensure the institution aligns with the student’s values and meets the student’s needs. It would also be helpful to take notes during a campus tour that way you can review what you learned and decide if that institution is the best option for the student.
Other types of tours
- Online tour or virtual tour see campustours
- Online photographic tour
- Self-guided tour
- Podcast tour 
- "Guidelines for Producing a Podcast Tour" (PDF). Stanford. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
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