Getting A Head Start: The Importance of Spring Tours

Can you believe that it’s already March and time to consider which schools you’d like to apply to next fall!?!?! Schools anticipate this curiosity and open their doors to welcome you a bit earlier with their highly sought-after spring tours.


Spring tours allow you to get a head start on the admissions process. These group tours are offered as an option to families who would like to preview the school before deciding whether to submit an application in the fall. Some schools offer spring tours for specific divisions - not all, so it’s best to review their website and/or call them to be certain.


I do not recommend signing up for a spring tour at a school that you are already certain about submitting an application. If you intend to apply, a comprehensive tour will be included in your school visit. Spring tour spaces are very limited, held in the mornings, and are typically about an hour in length. To be efficient, I highly recommend using this time to tour as a way to explore school types more closely. I will be discussing the various types of school communities in another post, but here are some high-level examples:

Single-gender

Religious affiliation

School size

Location

Grade range

Curriculum


There are additional categories to consider that we can review together.

When I was the Associate Director of Admissions at Hewitt, I recruited and trained about 40-50 student tour guides. Student tour guides are such a great indicator of the type of leaders the school develops. It is normal if an administrator is leading the tour during your spring visit, but I personally love to see the students in action! If you do have a student, some additional things to note are - Is your tour guide personable? Are they knowledgeable? Can they speak about activities they are personally involved in at school? How do they interact with other students while on tour? Perhaps, the most important question - can you imagine your child looking up to them? This is not the time to try and ask trick questions. Enjoy the conversation because the students really love being resources!


If you are unable to attend spring tours, do not panic. You are in a great space since you are beginning to think about this now. There will also be additional opportunities to visit the school in the fall when schools host their open houses. You should expect tours to occur in April or May, so begin to monitor their websites about sign-up information.