The college search process is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful as prospective students and their families weigh the many higher education options.

Visiting campuses in person is a key component of the search process, and the University of Richmond’s student tour guides have some great ideas on how to find the right fit. It boils down to asking meaningful questions.

“I think a lot of people stick to asking routine questions about statistics and programs, and that’s important, but it might not tell someone everything they want to know,” said Shaylynn Duterte, a chemistry major from Napa Valley, Calif. “I wish more people would ask me about my experience. Why do I like it here? Why am I still here? These types of questions will help students learn about resources and the culture on campus.”

“I am surprised that people don’t ask more pressing questions during the tours,” said Ashley James, an environmental studies major from Chester, Va. “Students should ask about the whether or not they will really be able to participate in the opportunities they are being told are available. Some of these opportunities may actually be exclusive or require an extensive application process. That’s important to know up front.”

Parents also can help prospective students gain important insight during a campus tour.

“It’s natural for parents to worry about their kids,” said Destini Teague, a healthcare studies major from Plano, Texas. “I’d love for more parents to ask me about the support systems in place on campus and why I feel comfortable here.”

“We get a lot of questions from parents about the likelihood their son or daughter can find a job,” said Tony Da Lomba, a biology and French double major from Cape Cod, Mass. “That’s a great question, but I wish more parents would ask me about the value of a liberal education, so I could help them realize that we learn great skills while finding what we are passionate about here, all while still having great resources to find a career.”

Additional advice on the best questions to ask during a campus tour, as well as more information on signing up for a tour of the University of Richmond, is available at news.richmond.edu/campustours.

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