Good Questions to Ask on a College Tour
You are finally planning your visits to colleges in which you are interested. This is such an exciting time. Setting foot on campus is a way for all five of your senses to be engaged and for you to find out if this college is within the realm of what you are looking for.
Preparing for that visit, including information you want to gather when you are there, is imperative. Visiting a college blind without doing your research and compiling a list of questions you want to ask is like taking a test without doing the work to understand the material or doing your due diligence and studying ahead of time. You are bound to fail, and no one wants to see that happen. You want to walk away having a greater understanding of how this school may be a good fit for you, socially, academically, financially, and emotionally.
What questions should you ask on your college tour or while attending an information session?
We have compiled a list of questions that you may want to consider asking the tour guide or admissions officer – and which may also inspire some other information that you want to gather. We don’t suggest asking all of these questions, at all, but just stick to the ones that you are most interested in to gather information you need to decide if the school is a good fit for you.
• How widely are teaching assistants used?
• What is the average class size for upper-division courses?
• What is the average class size for introductory courses, also known as general education courses?
• What opportunities are there for undergraduate research?
• What percentage of students participate in undergraduate research?
• If the school has an honors college or program, what are the requirements for getting accepted and do you get invited into the program or does a student need to apply?
• What are the perks to be a part of the honors college/program?
What different types of tutoring and support does this college offer?
Do you have a writing center?
Are there only peer tutors or professional tutors as well?
Opportunities Outside of the College
What percentage of students get internships?
What services does your career center/office offer to students who are looking for internships and for post graduation work?
What percentage of students study abroad?
Where can students study abroad?
Financial Aid – Merit and Financial Need
What is your average financial aid package?
Do you offer merit money and, if so, what is your average merit award?
What is the breakdown of loans vs. grants?
What is the average debt that a student is left with?
The College’s Social Life
What are your tour guide’s favorite things about this college]?
If there was one thing they could change about the school what would it be?
Why did they select to attend this school vs. others that they got accepted to?
What are some fun activities that your tour guide is involved in?
What is the environment like outside of campus?
What is the food like at this college?
What are the dorm choices for freshman and then upperclassmen?
Do most students stay on campus on the weekends?
What is the weekend life like at this college?
What percentage of the student body belongs to a fraternity or sorority?
Is there a bulletin board they can point you in the direction of to see what activities and events are being offered?
The above questions are just a sample of what may be of interest to you. The key is to do your research before the tour to be prepared for when you visit a college, or even to decide if you want to do so. See our blog How to Research Colleges Online to help you with this process.
Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.
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