Visit college campuses to get a feel for what really goes on at a college. To make your initial list of schools to visit, think about the type of school you’re interested in attending, special programs you’d like to learn more about and how far you’re able to travel.
Start by reviewing the admissions sections of school websites for info session and campus tour schedules and to get a full look at all each school has to offer. Then, if required, make your reservation for the info session and tour. If you’re planning to meet with a faculty member or a coach, make sure to coordinate all your appointments. Try to leave some extra time to explore the campus and surrounding community on your own.
Campus tours give you a look at what campus facilities have to offer. You’ll see a school through a current student’s eyes and have a chance to ask questions.
Questions for your 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 are offered?
- What’s your favorite thing about the school? What, if anything, has disappointed you?
- How available are professors for extra help?
- Are tutors available?
- Are you assigned a freshman advisor? Is there a supportive advisory system?
Info sessions give you the chance to learn about the school from the admissions office staff who will make a formal presentation followed by Q & A. Ask questions, but ask only those that can’t be answered on the school’s website.
Questions to ask at the Admissions 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 jobs are available on campus for students who want to work part-time?
Explore the campus after the tour and info session. Engage in campus life to get a first hand experience and look around and notice what students are doing.
Things you can do on campus to have a first hand experience:
- Eat in the cafeteria.
- Visit the student center.
- Sit in on a class.
- Read the school newspaper.
- Check out the bulletin boards around campus.
- If you can, take the time to explore the surrounding neighborhood and town.
Talk with current students and ask them the questions you really want the answers to, but don’t want to ask on your tour and info session, such as:
- 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 you 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 do you like best (and least) about the school?
Throughout the day, take notes and photos to help you remember details from your visit.
If there’s someone you want to follow up with, ask for their contact info. Use an envelope to collect and save business cards from school reps you meet. Remember to send thank you notes and follow up if you’ve been asked to provide additional information.