Campus visits are an important part of the private school admissions process. Touring a school allows you to witness the teachers in action, check out the campus, get a feel for the community, talk to students and teachers, and ask some important questions.
Below are some tour tips that can help you get the most out of your campus visit.
Confirm the Details.
Calling the admissions team a few days before your scheduled visit ensures that you will get the most out of your experience.
Some things to confirm during your phone call:
- Will your tour be with a group or private?
Some schools offer both group tours and private tours. Confirm whether your tour will be with a group or just you and your family.
- Where will you meet the tour guide when you get to the school?
Academy has two campuses. Our Lower Division tours meet on the Wendlek Campus. Our Middle and Upper Division tours meet in the Admissions and Development Office on McCormick Campus.
- Is there special parking?
There are special parking spaces reserved for prospective families on both of Academy’s campuses located conveniently in the front of the buildings.
- Can you bring children?
Children are always welcome on tours at Academy. Some parents of Lower Division students choose to tour the school by themselves first, then bring their children for a follow-up tour.
Get the Most Out of Your Tour.
After you’ve confirmed the details of your tour, take some time to talk to the admissions associate about your child(ren) during your pre-tour phone call.
- What clubs/activities/sports is your child interested in?
- What is your child’s favorite subject?
- Does your child require special accommodations?
- Does your family need financial aid?
- Is there anything you specifically want to see on tour?
This helps the school personalize your tour to your child’s specific interests. By having this information, the Admissions team can choose a tour guide that can help answer all of your questions and set aside time to talk about accommodations and aid with the appropriate people.
If your child is interested in a certain club, sport, or school subject, the team can make sure you are able to speak with specific advisors, coaches, teachers, or Student Ambassadors involved in those areas.
Do Your Research.
Before your campus tour, do a little digging into the school you are touring. Browse their website and social media channels with your child. This will help you come prepared with questions about things specific to the school you are touring.
If you are not sure about what questions who should be asking your private school, check out our list of 19 questions to ask your private school.
- Arrive dressed to impress and bring the following items with you, just in case:
- A photo ID
- A notepad and writing utensil
- Any questions you have gathered during your research
Arrive a Few Minutes Early.
Before you get on the actual tour, there may be some inquiry forms that will need to be filled out. Schools want to stay connected with you after your tour, so having updated contact information is very important.
At Academy, it is helpful when parents arrive about 10 minutes early for their tour so that they can fill out our inquiry form and answer some basic questions.
A campus tour is your best chance to really find out if the school you are looking at is the best fit for your child. You have the opportunity to not only speak to the admissions staff, but also current students, teachers, coaches, and staff members. Don’t limit your questions to only the tour guide.
When you and your child are engaged during the tour, it sets a great first impression with the admissions team.
If you’ve been touring multiple schools, they can begin to blur together once you get home. Taking notes during your tour allows you to log your thoughts and impressions as you experience them. This is particularly useful if your child is not on tour with you.
Take promotional materials home with you.
Promotional materials have important information that will help you make your final decision. It is useful if you’ve forgotten specifics during the tour and to showcase the campus for anyone who has not seen it in person.
You can also ask the admissions team if there are any student publications that you and your family can view. It is always nice to see what the school looks like through the lens of current students.
Academy has a student-run blog called 6C Publishing which is full of great articles written for students. They also have their own Instagram and Twitter accounts. The school also has a blog and Instagram series called #AATLDiaries which follows a day in the life of different teachers and students. These are all great resources to help you get a feel for what it’s like to be an Academy student.
Find out about the next steps in the Admissions Process.
So… what’s next? If you fall in love with the school, it’s important to know what you should be working on next. Do you need to gather transcripts? Start an application? Schedule an SSAT for your child? Schedule a visit day? Are there any looming deadlines? The admissions team can help you put together a checklist of items and deadlines so that you can continue the admissions process.