So, you’ve narrowed down your choice of colleges. The next step is to visit them. In many cases, the campus tour is a deciding-factor for students. The tour allows you to get a feel of whether you can live on that campus or in the surrounding area for the next four years, and helps you to decide the best fit for you – socially and academically. In order to compare colleges more easily, ask faculty and students a variety of questions that are important to you – and don’t forget to bring a pen and paper to take notes. You may want to consider bringing a camera, if images help jog your memory and put decisions in perspective. Here are some suggestions for questions you can ask while on your visit.
Questions to ask admissions officers:
- How many of my courses are taught by graduate assistants?
- What is the student/teacher ratio in my area of study?
- What are the statistics on resources on campus for first year students: library, computer labs, cafeterias, study rooms etc.?
- What percentage of students receive financial aid?
- How much financial aid am I eligible for?
- What percentage of students live on campus?
- Is housing guaranteed all four years?
- What meal plans are available?
- Are there any safety issues that I should be aware of?
Questions to ask current students:
- Why did you choose this college?
- What do you like best about going to school here? Least?
- Do you feel safe on campus?
- What is the social life like?
- Are there many fraternities or sororities?
- Do most students stay on campus during the weekends?
- What are some popular extracurricular activities?
- How is the food on campus?
- Were you able to register for all the classes you wanted?
- Did you receive an adequate amount of financial aid?
- Are most students from out of state or in state?
Aside from speaking to faculty and students, ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable living in the dorms provided, if you like the facilities on campus, if you would prefer to live in a city or rural setting, and if you can enjoy a full social and academic life at the school you are visiting. After all, your college years should be some of the best.