Checking out the campus of a prospective college is important, but knowing which questions to ask on your college tour is invaluable for learning more about what life is really like there. With that said, you’re going to have to ask the right questions if you want honest answers.
These 12 questions will help you really suss out if the college is really right for you or not. From what to ask admissions to the best questions to ask the students there, we’ve covered all the bases so you’ll be ready once you start touring schools.
Wondering what the differences are between high school college? We’ve got the answers!
4 Questions to Ask on Your College Tour
1. What percentage of students receive financial aid?
Knowing how many students receive financial aid at college will be essential if you require financial support at college. Whether we’re talking about scholarships or financial aid, it’s important to know just how much school is going to cost—and how tight-fisted the university is. Getting a scope on what four years at the school is going to set you back will help you determine if it’s a good fit for you or not.
2. What’s the retention rate from freshman to sophomore year?
If a college has a low retention rate from freshman to sophomore year, that’s not exactly a good sign – regardless of whether it’s due to dropping out or transferring. Happy college students are going to stay there for the full four years. Students leaving in droves suggests there’s probably a reason – so it’s best to ask on the college tour before you enrol.
3. What’s the average student debt upon graduation?
Again, money is important to ask questions about while you’re touring colleges. If students are saddled with huge amounts of debt once they graduate, you need to have a game plan for how you’re going to start paying it off ASAP. That’s not to discourage you if you think you can handle it, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.
4. How easy is it to switch majors?
Considering nearly 80% of students change their major while they’re in college at least once, you want to make sure it’s relatively easy if you end up changing your course of study. If the school makes it difficult to do so, you want to be really sure of your field before you commit.
4 Questions to Ask College Admissions
1. Are there any majors that have an enrolment cap?
Some courses have an enrolment cap, which is worth asking about on your tour of the college campus. Once you’ve settled on what to study, you want to make sure you can actually get into your field. Some more competitive schools and programs might have a limit to how many students they let in. Double check with admissions on this, and have a back-up plan if you don’t get in.
2. Does legacy play a part in admissions?
Some colleges give an advantage to students who have generations of alumni in their family, also known as legacies. If you want to go to the same school your parents (or even grandparents) went to, you might have a better shot at getting in or getting scholarships. Just make sure you know what’s defined as a legacy before you apply.
3. Do you require admission interviews?
A college tour is the ideal time to find out whether that school requires you to interview as part of the admissions process. If this gives you major anxiety, find a school that doesn’t ask for them. If you do have to interview, make sure to ask what the process is like, what to expect and how much it impacts your chance of acceptance.
4. Does demonstrated interest play a role in the admissions process?
Demonstrated interest is categorised as anything from requesting information from the college to following them on social media. Some colleges consider this when viewing applications so make sure you know if the schools you’re applying to use this as a factor when determining who to admit.
4 Questions to Ask College Students
1. What are some of the school’s main events or traditions?
On your tour, make sure you ask some of the following questions to the resident students: What kind of fun stuff happens on campus every year? What are the big events you absolutely can’t miss out on? These are the things to ask students when you’re visiting. They’ll give you on the ground insight when it comes to the most fun things going on around the school.
Joining a sorority is a pretty great way to get involved in college life — here’s out ultimate guide to sororities and rush week.
2. How did you get involved on campus when you first got here?
Getting involved on campus as a freshman sets a precedent on how you’re going to spend the rest of your time at college. If the school makes an effort to get new students plugged in and involved with on-campus activities, it’s a good sign you’ll find your niche faster once you’re away from home.
3. Do you live on campus? Why or why not?
If students want to live on campus, there’s probably a good reason. What are the residence halls like? What amenities do they have? The same goes for if they don’t want to live on campus. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer, but definitely a question worth asking.
4. What are the dining options on campus?
Food is a huge part of college life. Ask students where they like to eat, especially on campus, when you do your tour of the college. It’s where you’re going to be spending most of your time, so make sure there’s food you’re actually going to want to eat. If not, plan accordingly to figure out alternative options…
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What to Wear on a College Visit?
You’re going to do a lot of walking on your college tour so be sure to wear something comfortable and practical. This isn’t the time to get all dressed up. Just wear something casual and presentable with shoes you can easily get around in.
Interested in switching up your look for college? Why not check out a dark academia aesthetic.
What is an RA in college?
An RA at college is a resident advisor, they’re upperclassmen who live in the dorms and help you adjust to life on campus. If you’re having issues living in the dorm, not getting along with your roommate or anything in between, it helps to talk to a peer rather than an adult sometimes so that they can get everything sorted out.
It can seem overwhelming when it comes to college visits, but these questions will help you decide where to end up for the next four years. Follow your instincts—they won’t lead you wrong when you end up choosing which school is right for you!
Need more great college advice? Check out our ultimate guide to everything student life.