If you're a college-bound high school student, or the parent of one, odds are you will visit more than one college campus to get a good look at a prospective school.
And once you do, you'll notice something strange: All the college tours sound alike.
As hard as the representatives of different schools try to explain what makes their college or university uniquely special, they tend to repeat one another. Over the course of a visit—which usually starts out in a lecture hall near the admissions office and finishes with walking tour of the campus led by a chipper undergraduate—you'll hear surprisingly similar sales pitches regarding the professors, the food, the library, the gym, and other elements of campus life. All the professors love to teach. All campuses are safe. All students are passionate about what they do.
After a while, it all blurs together.
But rather than tune out sales pitch, embrace it and play Money's College Tour Bingo—the fun way to occupy yourself while hearing yet again about all the different food options at the cafeteria and all the interdisciplinary experiential education that's going on around you.
Print out a bingo card (there are three different ones below) and mark off any square that matches something an admissions office representative or tour guide tells you. Are you on the tour with family members or friends? Give them a different card so they can play along, too. (Click here to download the full three-card set.)
At worst, you'll have something to do to pass the time. At best, you may end up listening so closely that you'll pick up on some useful information. Either way, you win.