By Ethan Penland, Director of Admissions Services
3 minute read
Campus tours are similar to baking. You have your essential ingredients–flour, water, sugar, and eggs. For the majority of every traditionally baked good, you’re going to incorporate these ingredients. The same concept is true for a campus tour. You’re going to have a standard tour route, talking points that are expected to be touched on, and plenty of facts about campus and student stories to tell.
I’ve toured upwards of 70+ schools, and every tour includes all of those essential ingredients. Unfortunately, only a handful of those schools incorporated an important missing ingredient that changes the feel of a student or parent’s experience–college tips and tricks.
I refer to the college tips and tricks as added context to the facts and stories that are shared throughout the tour. Sure, your tour guides can share facts and figures about your institution that makes you unique. But are they sharing how that information can help prospective students when they get there? This is a way to differentiate your tour.
During a survey I conducted with students from the Class of 2022 about their experiences with campus tours, I asked what element of the tour students appreciated most. Interestingly enough, between the options of Facts and Figures, College Tips and Tricks, and Student Stories, College Tips and Tricks was the most appreciated aspect. A whopping 88% of students said that it was important or very important to them during their college visit experience.
If you’re a follower of our blog, it may not be a shock to you because we’ve talked before about how much Generation Z students appreciate getting context for things during their college search process.
By adding the college tips and tricks into your tours, that important context will get delivered by your tour guides, an important peer influencer.
So, how can you or your tour guides begin to incorporate college tips and tricks into the campus visit? Here are a few ways to do so.
- Make the college tips and tricks not only applicable to your institution but make them a resource that prospective students can implement in their college experience anywhere.
- For every stop on your campus tour, evaluate if students are gaining insight into how they should use the information your tour guides are sharing in their future college experience. A good way to evaluate this is to incorporate, at every stop on the tour, a fact, story, and college tip or trick. That way, students are hearing factual information about your institution, hearing how it is applied through student stories, and how they should use that information in their own experiences.
- Every tour I have been on has standard talking points that need to be discussed at each stop. Like the student stories that are shared, let the college tips and tricks also be authentic shared. As part of your tour guide training when discussing the essential talking points that are shared at each tour stop, ask your tour guides how they would offer tips and tricks to prospective students. Let them discuss these in a group setting because it can inspire some great insight and perspectives that can be really helpful for prospective students and parents to hear on their campus tours.
If you do what I’ve outlined today, I’m confident you’ll see a tremendous amount of increased engagement and appreciation from prospective students and their families during your tours.
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