The campus visit is an integral part of your decision on which college to attend. It allows you to tour the campus, see where you may be living, and interact with students who attend your potential school. Take advantage of the information you can gather from students and tour guides. Remember, they are a great source for gathering information and it’s their job to answer your questions!
1. Ask about campus life
While much of your time will be spent in class, you will also have the chance to be involved in campus activities, so you want to make sure that there are opportunities for you to partake in. If you know you are interested in sports, which is a great way to meet new people and stay active, ask about opportunities for club sports on campus. If you know you want to go into politics, see if there are political student organizations. Or maybe you’re interested in meeting people through a Greek system and want to check out the fraternity and sorority scene on campus. All of these questions will help you get a good idea of how you can see yourself getting involved on campus.
2. Ask about your tour guide’s personal experience with the school
Don’t be afraid to ask your tour guide for his or her personal story in choosing this school. Ask why your guide picked it and what his or her favorite parts of the school are. What does your tour guide wish he or she had known before coming to this school? Remember that these tour guides are students, and they were in your shoes once. They are living the experience that you soon may be living, so where better to go for answers than the direct source? You can also ask tougher questions; for example, what he or she would change about the campus if given the opportunity. College isn’t always a walk in the park, so it’s nice to know the downsides from a student perspective.
3. Ask about the town your school is in
Even if your campus has everything you could ever want, it’s still nice to know more about the surrounding city. Consider that later in your major you may want to find an internship or job, and it would be nice to know if that is something that is a possibility. It’s also nice to get off campus once and awhile, so knowing some of the interesting spots around town can only help — whether they be restaurants, boutiques, concert venues, museums, or anything else.
4. Ask about your intended majorWhile your tour guide may not be an expert on your particular major, he or she might have friends or acquaintances who are, and they may be able to shed some light on the courses and professors. You can ask general questions about your desired track, such as the required courses or the first-year course load. They may be able to answer questions about general class size, and if classes are mainly lecture based or hands-on. While you’re at it, ask your tour guide about the school’s required gen eds. They will likely be able to tell you what types of classes all students are required to take, as well as share some insider advice for succeeding in them.
5. Ask about admissions
If you haven’t been admitted into the school already, now is a great time to ask questions about the admissions process. Your campus tour guide will likely be well versed and trained in these questions, so consider him or her the expert. Are there a lot of financial aid packages available? What is the application process like? What is the acceptance rate? While they won’t be able to help you with your specific application, they should be able to provide important details. Plus, the information you find out may give you some insight into ideas you can cover in your statement of why you want to attend the school.
Brittany Phillips is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.