One of the most beneficial aspects of the college search is actually stepping foot on a college’s campus. That experience informs, and can ultimately decide, which college you choose. Since the visit is so crucial, it’s important to take it seriously. Make sure you ask enough questions to walk away feeling like you know more about the school and how it might meet your needs and goals.
Listed below are some of the best questions to ask. The answers to them will help you learn more about each school, and whether it is going to be the right fit for you.
- What majors and minors are offered?
- What is the average class size?
- How do you get support? Are your professors the primary resource, or does the college have teaching assistants/grad assistants and tutors?
- Do you get to take classes within your intended major your first year?
- What are the all-college or general education requirements?
- Do students live on campus all four years?
- How do roommates get assigned your first year?
- What are the room layouts and what furniture is included (closet, bed, dresser, desk, etc.)?
- How many people live in each space?
- Is housing based on gender, and are there gender neutral housing options?
- Where are the laundry facilities and how much does it cost to wash and dry a load of clothes?
- What kind of groups and clubs does the college offer?
- Do many students join these groups?
- What kind of activities happen in the evenings and on the weekends?
- Where do students hang out/have fun?
- Do most students stay on campus on the weekends?
- What is the comprehensive fee (total annual cost of attendance)?
- What kind of scholarships are offered?
- Do you need to apply or audition to be considered for the scholarships?
- Does the school have a work study program?
- Which grants and loans are available?
Community Surrounding the College
- Do students go into town often?
- Where can you hang out or study (coffee shops, library, restaurants, etc.)?
- What stores are nearby (grocery, clothing, toiletries)?
- What does campus security look like?
- Is there a way for students to be escorted back to their residence hall at night?
- Is there a clinic on campus?
- How easy is it to see a doctor if you get sick?
- Where can you fill a prescription?
- Are there mental health or counseling resources available?
- Where are the computer labs and printers on campus?
- Does the college support Macs and PCs?
- What kind of opportunities do students have for internships and research before they graduate?
- How successful are students in getting into graduate programs (med/law/physical therapy school etc.)?
- What resources are available for assisting with career exploration and job placement?
A great way to take notes and then compare schools is by creating a spreadsheet of the colleges and universities that you visit. While it might be over the top to bring it with you, creating one is an excellent method for organizing all of the information you receive.