Taking the Campus Tour

haveuheard tour umd

A Tour Can Help You Make Your College Decision

*About your campus tour – All Visitor Service Desks and Facilities are closed until further notice, but there are a variety of options for virtual visits to UMD*

Taking a campus tour is an essential step to help your students decide where they will make their home for the next four years. Some students like to tour before they apply, while others tour schools after they have been accepted. When my daughter was applying to schools, we did both; however, the tours after the acceptance letters were received were very different from the initial visits. Taking the tour after being accepted helps to pinpoint the pertinent things that will help your student make their final decision as to which school to attend. Of course, my daughter loves being a Terp, but your student may have specific things that will help them weigh out the pros and cons of each college.

Go with a list of questions, but not the kind of questions that you can just google an answer to. Don’t be shy about asking questions to tour guides, financial advisors, specific departments, or even students hanging out on campus. They can be your greatest resources.

Some of the more common questions our interns found important to prospective students are:

Are you glad you chose UMD? Why did you choose it over other schools you were looking at?

  • What is the size of the overall campus?
  • What is the size of the dorm rooms and how many people live in each room?
  • What food options are available to a freshman?
  • What does the meal plan cover and will it fit your diet?
  • What are the locations of your “majors” classes?
  • What type of technology is used or available in the classrooms/libraries?
  • How many printing locations are available? Is it free to print or does it cost money?
  • How clean is the campus/restrooms?
  • How many gyms are on campus and where are they located?
  • How safe are the campus and surrounding neighborhoods?
  • How long did it take you to get involved? Have you found places you love being a part of?
  • What is the transportation system like? Are there frequent bus stops? Available parking spaces?
  • What safety precautions are on campus?

Perhaps Greek life is important to your student. UMD has beautiful sorority and fraternity houses both on the picturesque Fraternity Row and the Graham Cracker. One great way to get a feel for Greek life at the University of Maryland is to try and get a tour of a sorority or fraternity house. In order to do so, they will have to find someone who knows someone that can get in. Perhaps you have a friend whose daughter or son is a member of a sorority or fraternity. Reach out to them before going, it is more than likely they would love to show a potential Terp around! If you don’t know anyone in Greek life since there aren’t tours, you can certainly take a quick drive through the area.

If your student has a health condition that makes having specific health center capabilities nearby of great importance; go check it out. UMD has both a health center and counseling center that students can go to for all thing’s health, wellness, and accessibility & disability services. Call in advance to see if you can tour the University Health Center or the Counseling Center.

There are several options for how you would like to tour the university. The first option is an information session and a guided tour. This type of tour gives you an overview of UMD by giving you important information and taking you to the most popular spots on campus. Visiting the Library, Dining Hall, Recreation Center, dorms, and my personal favorite, McKeldin Mall. Seeing the stunning campus really gives you a feel for the school and how you would fit in there.

A self-guided tour is another great option for potential students. This is good for those who cannot take a tour, when there is no tour available, or for those who just like to explore on their own! Self-guided tours are still allowed right now as long as visitors are mindful of the physical distance advisory due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Going around campus on your own allows you to see places that are not shown on the tour and are not times, so you have the freedom to stay and look around for as long as you wish. The only thing you should keep in mind if you are going on a self-guided tour is that there are certain places that you will not have access to such as dorms or buildings that require student identification.

Another thing to keep in mind is what will you be doing off-campus? A good way to better understand how your life as a Terp would be is by visiting places around campus as well. You can visit and drive-by common UMD hotspots like McKeldin Mall, restaurants and bars along route 1, and Fraternity Row and the Graham Cracker. Finally, while I loved UMD as did my daughter, it is important that your student love UMD. Have them make the most out of their campus tour by asking the necessary questions, visiting places you’re going to be, and getting a feel for your life as a future Terp!

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2020-08-10T12:02:51-04:000 Comments

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