It’s about that time where if you’re a senior in high school you’re going to have to start making a decision about where you want to go to school. If you’re a junior in high school now is the time when you start taking tours of campuses to help you decide where you want to apply. Either way, physically being on the campus of a school helps to make a decision on whether you want to attend that school or not. You get to look at the important stuff, like the dorms and the cafeteria, you get to meet with the important people, like admissions and professors, and you get an important feeling of whether you would like to be on that campus for the next four years. When you tour a campus all of this is really important, but it’s also important that you ask the right questions. So to help you out or remind you of some questions, here’s a list of a few you might want to ask on your next tour.
How safe is the campus?
Each school is responsible for keeping stats on the unfortunate events that might occur on this campus. So when you ask this question they might give you the list of stats or tell you how their safety system works on campus (like at Mis where you need your ID to get into the dorms). This question is obviously important because this is where you’re going to be living for the next few years and you want to make sure you feel comfortable walking from one building to another.
What kind of activities or clubs are offered?
Again, you will be spending four or more years at this place, you want to make sure it has something that interests you besides the academics. Make sure that there’s at least one club or activity that you would consider being involved in, so you have something to look forward to beside your 8 AM being cancelled.
What health services are available to students?
This one is important because you want to know that if you get the sniffles, there would be someone available to tell you it’s not the flu. You just want to make sure they have trusted doctors or nurses who can help you out in case you are feeling under the weather.
What is the average class size?
Obviously at a bigger school this ratio is going to be a lot higher, whereas at a smaller school the ratio will be a lot lower. This question is important because if you want the professor to know you, you probably want to attend a school with that lower ratio.
What is the most popular major or program?
If the majority of the students are at that school for a business related major, then you can guess that that school is more for business majors rather than health science majors, or vice-verse. You want to know that the school you might be attending is a school that’s known for your major.
What extra academic services do you offer?
This is asking about things like tutoring services, if they have TA’s available for most classes, or if there are any other ways you could get extra help if need be.
How is advising handled?
You want to know that when it comes time to pick your classes or when you have questions in general that there is someone with the knowledge to turn and ask your questions to. Some schools may only offer advisers freshman year, while others may not offer an advisor within your major.
How spread out is the campus?
Sometimes the campus is all the buildings packed into one area, while other times the student might need to walk (or take transportation to) another area where part of the campus is located.
What is the average financial package?
College is expensive, you want to make sure you can attend a school that you won’t be paying off until your seventy.
What is the average amount of debt a student leaves the school with?
If each student is graduating with over $100,000 worth of debt, you may want to reconsider your options. Ask this question, just so you know what you’ll be dealing with after your graduate.
Are there work-study opportunities?
I know you’re thinking “I have to do school and work?”, but trust me, a little spending cash in your pocket is definitely worth the few hours of work per week.
What is your graduation rate?
You want to attend a school where most people that are there are going to graduate within a reasonable time, or at all. You don’t want to spend six years at one school for a four year program.
What percentage of students are employed full-time within 6 months of graduation?
Attending a school with a well-respected program is important, but attending a school with a well-respected program that can get you a job after graduation is more important. You want to go to a school where a large percentage of students have a full-time job within a few months after graduation.
Do you have a study abroad program?
This might be really important to you, so make sure the school you’re looking at does have a program and they have a lot of opportunities to study abroad.
What percentage of freshman return for sophomore year?
What you’re asking here is if after freshman year a lot of student return or if they transfer to another school. This just gives you a feeling of how the majority of students enjoyed their freshmen year and wanted to come back to finish the other three years or wanted to complete them at another school.
Do you have a learning disability service?
If you have a learning disability you want to attend a school that offers a program that will give you extra help in any way if you need it.
What technology services are available and how well do they work?
This could be regarding the computers on campus or how well the wifi works. You can also ask if the school has a policy on printing or if they have services available to fix devices like laptops or tablets.
What dorm options do you offer?
Some schools may only offer the typical freshman dorming or “community” living experience. While other schools have suite options for all four years. Some schools make you move off campus after sophomore year, while others don’t allow you to move off campus at all.
What sports are available?
Maybe you’re interested in joining the basketball team and want to know if you could try out. Maybe you’re just a really big fan and want to make sure you’re going to be attending a school with plenty of opportunities to watch some sports. Also when you ask this question you can ask about the fitness center, like what equipment is available, the hours of operation and if it’s a membership or not.
What do most students do on the weekends?
Each student is different at every college. For many different reasons some students go home every weekend, while others only go home for breaks. It’s important to find out what students do on the weekend because you want to attend a school that suits what you will be doing.
Can students get off campus?
They will most likely tell you that freshman (or anyone) are or aren’t allowed to have cars or that they offer a shuttle system (or there’s public transportation) that can take them into the nearest town to shop or go to the movies etc.
Questions about your intended program?
Each school is different in the aspect of what their programs require. Some schools require internships before you graduate, while others require certain hours of community service. The program or major you are looking at may also have different requirements between schools, so make sure you know what those requirements are before you make a final decision about where you want to attend.
What if I don’t’ know my intended major?
If you like a school, but have yet to choose a major, that’s okay, many schools offer opportunities for students who are undeclared to help them make a decision about their future.