OPINION: The benefits of going on an in-person college tour


Maggie Robinson

After the SBU Women’s Basketball game on February 20th, 2022, the Knight Crier’s Maggie Robinson met Osun Osunniyi, senior center on the SBU Men’s Basketball team.

College is a big step in life. Finding the right school for you can take time and effort. One way that can make it easier is going on a tour.

Going on a tour is important to making sure you like the campus and seeing if it is the right fit for you. In-person tours have many benefits over the online tour option that many schools have started to offer during the pandemic. In-person tours give you the nicer feel of the campus and might make the campus feel more comfortable. Picking a school based on an in person tour could be more based on the campus life of you seeing students out and about.

My personal experience with in person college tours has been better than my online tour experience. When I visited St. Bonaventure University(SBU), a private college located in Allegany, New York, I had a very exciting experience. I went on President’s day weekend for an in person tour. On the weekend leading up to the tour I went to the Men’s Basketball Game against Duquesne. There, I really felt a connection with how student participation takes key roles in the crowd. The whole game the student section was hyped up and cheering on their team. After the Bonnies took the win against Duquesne, I noticed that two important people for ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski and Chris LaPlaca, were down on the sidelines, both of which are SBU graduates. This is an experience that I wouldn’t have gotten if I didn’t decide to take the tour that coming Monday. 

The Knight Crier’s Maggie Robinson met Chris LaPlaca, overseer of Communications for ESPN, after the SBU Men’s Basketball game on February 19th, 2022. (Maggie Robinson)

The next day, my parents and I went to the Women‘s Basketball game vs Duquesne. The hype for the Women’s team isn’t as significant as the men’s team, but it was still a good time. On the way out of the game, I got my picture taken with Senior Osun Osunniyi, Center for the Men’s Basketball team and all-time blocker in SBU history. I thought that was cool because this guy, along with the rest of the Men’s Basketball team, I watch on TV every time their game is televised.

None of that would have happened if I didn’t decide to go on the tour that weekend.

More importantly than the fun filled weekend I had before the tour, is the tour itself.

In total, the tour was about an hour and a half long. To start, they had a folder of information for me and I got a water bottle too. There was a large room with about 50 families in it listening to a presentation about the school. Things included in the presentation were possible scholarships you can obtain for your grades, the programs that they offer including majors and minors, and financial aid guide. After the presentation was the part where you get to actually experience the school. You were put into a group with about 4-6 other families and led by a current student who attends the school. We went into many of the different buildings, including a sample dorm room, the library, and one of the food courts you can use your dining plan at.

The Knight Crier’s Maggie Robinson met Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN Senior NBA Insider, after the SBU Men’s Basketball game on February 19th, 2022. (Maggie Robinson)

Walking around the campus made me feel very comfortable. It is a smaller sized school with fewer students than NPHS. SBU has a 12:1 student to staff ratio makes it easier to have a closer connection to your professors. 

I did take a virtual tour at University of Missouri. The program that they use for the tour was ok. All that it is is pictures of the campus with a ‘tour guide’ talking about the spot. You also got some history of the university along with that. I like the in person tours I have taken better, but with the school being about 15 hours away, it was the easier option. 

Everyone has their own opinion. I just like the in person experience of a tour better. It draws more of a connection to the school so you have more of an understanding of what your college experience could feel like.