Visiting a college campus is the best way to get a real feel for the school. It’s also a way to demonstrate your interest to Admissions so don’t forget to sign in when you arrive. Most schools offer tours, usually led by students, and info sessions, which are typically conducted by members of Admissions. Check before you visit to determine whether reservations are required.
A tour gives you the opportunity to take a look at what the campus facilities have to offer. Tours also give you the chance to see the school through a current student’s eyes and to ask questions. Info sessions are a place to learn about the school from Admissions staff who will have a formal presentation followed by Q & A. Feel free to ask questions but ask those that can’t be answered on the school’s website. Spend time after the tour and info session exploring the campus. Eat in the cafeteria, visit the student center, try to sit in on a class. Talk with current students, read the school newspaper and check out the bulletin boards around campus. Ask students you meet the questions you really want the answers to but don’t want to ask on tour and in the info session.
Questions for the tour guide
- Does the school provide housing for all four years? If yes, do most students stay on campus? If no, how hard is it to find off campus housing?
- What portion of the students join sororities and fraternities?
- What clubs and extracurriculars does the school offer?
- Why did you choose this school to attend?
- How available are professors for extra help?
- Are tutors available?
- Are you assigned a freshman advisor? Is there a supportive advisory system?
Questions for the admission info session
- What is the average class size?
- What percentage of classes are taught by professors versus teaching assistants?
- Is study abroad encouraged? What percent of students participate?
- What is the total cost of attending?
- What type of financial assistance is available?
- What percentage of students receive the aid they require?
- What career service support is offered for summer and full time opportunities?
- What job opportunities are there on campus for students who want to work part-time?
Questions to ask students on campus
- Where do most students study?
- How much time do you spend on school work each day?
- Do students stay on campus for the weekends?
- What do students do for fun?
- Do students feel pressured to join Greek life? What’s the process like?
- What are the biggest campus traditions?
- Do students get involved in the surrounding community?
- What is your favorite thing about the school?
- What is your least favorite thing about school?
Throughout the day, try to take notes and photos to help you remember details from your visits because once you’re back home it’ll be hard to recall the details from one school to the next. If you can, take the time to explore the surrounding neighborhood and town. Finally, if you meet anyone you think you might want to follow up with, ask for their contact information.