Helpful Hints for a Campus Visit
College campus visits can be incredibly helpful as high school students figure out where they might study happily for four years. Before visiting colleges, develop a list of questions and plan specific activities so you can learn as much as possible about the academic and social environment, along with information on how various schools support students.
- Schedule an interview with the admissions office. You will probably be able to spend at least 15 minutes with a current student who works in the office. They will be looking to see if you fit in terms of personality and attitude; you’ll be able to make the same judgments about them. (Admission requirements, financial aid, school calendars and tuition fees can be found ahead of time on the college web site or in the school’s written materials.)
- Plan to meet with students and faculty. Ask questions! If possible, attend a class. Note class size, professor’s teaching style, and the general academic atmosphere.
- Take a campus tour. Be sure to visit the library, career center, the dining halls and residence halls, if possible.
- Find out about transportation options that are available around, on and off campus.
Questions to ask students
- What do you like most and least about this school?
- Do you consider the school a happy place?
- What are classes like? What are the largest and smallest classes you’ve taken? Is it easy to get classes you need?
- Where do students study? Is it easy to study in the library? In the dorm rooms?
- How competitive is the environment?
- Are libraries, library services and research resources easily available?
- Are professors easy to talk to outside of class? Are classes taught by graduate students?
- What is the food like? What meal plans are offered?
- Do many students participate in sororities and fraternities? How important is the Greek system to the school’s social life?
- Do many students participate in sports and attend sports events/games?
- Where do students hang out on and off campus? Describe a typical weekend.
- Do many students live off campus?
- Do many students go home for the weekend?
- How many students have cars? Where do they park and how difficult is it to find spots?
- If you’d known then what you know now, would you choose to attend this school again?
- Is support available when you need it? Would you know where to go if you needed help?
- Is technical support easily available?
Questions to ask administrators
- Ask questions you may have about admissions, availability of undergraduate research, study abroad, etc.
- Does the college accept AP classes for credit? Is there a minimum AP test grade? Is credit given for college classes taken during high school?
- What percentage of students graduate in four years?
- What percentage of students transfer out?
- When does one have to declare a major?
- Who serves as student advisors?
- What kind of computer access/internet access is available in the dorm rooms/common areas?
- Where are computer labs located? When are they open? Is there usually a waiting list?
- Is there a safety escort or shuttle service for students on campus at night? Describe on-campus security.
- What are the dorms like? After freshman year, what percentage of students live off campus?
- How strong is the career center? What percentage of students go on to graduate school?