You’ve got your final college choices narrowed down and your campus visits have been scheduled. You’ve made the necessary travel arrangements and the countdown has begun. While you’ll get a significant amount of information during your campus visits, you’ll want to come prepared with your own questions, just in case certain subjects are not initially addressed during the tour.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
For many students, the financial details of the various schools they are considering are an important part of the equation. While you can usually find certain details on the school’s website (i.e. tuition costs), there are other details about the costs that you may want to ask about during your campus tour. If you are relying on financial aid to cover all or a portion of your college expenses, you’ll want to ask how often packages change, what types of financial aid are typically offered, and the average amount offered per student. You should also inquire about scholarship opportunities, cost of living, transportation, and entertainment expenses.
The academics of any school are one of the most important – if not the most important – things to consider. With college being one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, you’ll want to ensure you’ll be receiving the education you envisioned, and that the programs available align with your goals. You could ask the tour guide about who their favorite professors are and why, and you’ll also want to ask about the school’s graduation rate. If there are certain subject areas you’re weak in, you may want to ask about the tutoring services available on campus. If you’re strong in a particular area, it’s a good idea to find out about testing out of certain courses and receiving credit. If traveling interests you, you’ll also want to ask about the types of study abroad and student exchange programs that the college offers.
Aside from personal enrichment, your college education is meant to help prepare you for the career world. As such, it’s a good idea to ask questions about how the college you’re touring can align with your career goals. You’ll want to ask about job placement rates for graduates, and if the college has any resources for helping students find jobs after graduation – or even prior to graduation. If you’re interested in taking on an internship at some point during your college years, you’ll also want to ask how much help the school offers in this area. Some colleges host career fairs and put together other events that are optimal for networking opportunities, so you’ll want to ask if the school you’re considering organizes these types of events frequently.
Questions about life on campus are important – after all, you’ll be spending a lot of time at the school you choose over the next few years, especially if you’ll be living in a dorm room. Ask questions about things to do for fun, both on-campus (such as sports games) and nearby. If you’re living on campus and hoping to do without a car, ask about how realistic this is; some campuses are easily accessible to nearby towns and downtown areas and walking or public transportation will do just fine. Others are more secluded and without a car, you may find yourself stranded on campus a lot of the time.
You’ll also want to ask about on-campus amenities (such as a gym) and about the college’s crime rate, as well as how good security is. This is especially important if you plan on taking classes late in the evening and/or living on campus. Don’t forget to ask about minor details as well – such as food options in the dining hall – which you’ll also want to test out for yourself while you’re there.
While you’ll want to ask about specific aspects of the college you’re touring, you’ll also want to ask the guide some general questions about the school as well. You should ask what their favorite thing is about the college, as well as their least favorite, and why he or she made the final decision to choose that college. These questions can help give you some insight about the school that you may have never considered before.
In the end, it’s essential to be prepared and have questions ready to ask about the things that are most important to you. The biggest mistake you can make is to not ask any questions at all, so just remember to give your questions some thought beforehand. Go through the school’s website thoroughly before your tour, and if anything, you want to know about is unclear or unanswered, be sure to add it to your list of questions.