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  • Asking the right questions on a college visit will help paint a picture of life after graduation, from your employment prospects to your level of student debt.
  • College life is about more than academics. Find out what clubs or groups a college offers, and whether these align to your interests.
  • Don’t just rely on the admissions officers to answer your questions. Seek out students and professors to get a better sense of campus life.

Visiting a college campus is an important step in deciding where you want to continue your education after high school. It's an opportunity to explore the campus, meet with professors and students, sit in on a class and get a feel for the school culture. Asking the right questions can help you make the most of your college visit as the answers you receive can be invaluable for helping you narrow down your choices.

From questions about campus culture to life after graduation, here are some college visit questions to give you a better sense of each school and help you stand out to admissions officers.

Questions about admissions and financial aid

College visits are good for more than getting a sense of the campus culture. They’re also a good way to find out what admissions officers are looking for in an applicant and whether a school is financially feasible.

  • What are the most important determining factors in the admissions process?
  • What are the most important qualities you look for in potential students?
  • Are the admissions standards higher for certain majors?
  • What percentage of entering freshmen receive financial aid?
  • What is the average freshman aid package?
  • What types of work-study jobs are available?
  • Are there work-study jobs that could give me experience related to my major?
  • What is the average amount of student loan debt for students who graduate in four years?
  • Does the school guarantee enough financial aid to meet my financial needs?
  • How often do students receive grants, vs federal loans?
  • Do financial aid packages remain the same over time, or are they adjusted when tuition increases?

Questions about academics

Whether you flourish in small classrooms with more one-on-one attention, or enjoy being one of a large body of students, the questions you ask will help ensure the school you're applying to is a fit. And make sure that there’s academic support and pathways for your chosen major—or support to help you if you’re still deciding.

  • What are typical class sizes for my intended major?
  • What is the average size of introductory classes?
  • What percentage of classes are taught by teaching assistants?
  • Am I guaranteed the major I’m interested in?
  • When do I have to declare a major?
  • How easy is it to switch majors?
  • How much time do students typically spend on homework and studying?

Questions about the college campus

Use the opportunity of being on campus to find out what other students think of the school. Getting unfiltered opinions from future classmates will give you a good idea of how each school stands out, and where there’s room for improvement.

  • What makes this school unique?
  • What do you like most about this school?
  • How diverse is the student body? The faculty?
  • What are the meal plan options?
  • Can I bring a car to campus?

Questions about student life

Asking about a college’s clubs is a great way to get a sense of how involved the students are on campus, as well as how well their interests align with yours. If you love music but hate sports, for example, a school sporting a ton of varsity colors but no a cappella groups may signal it’s not a great fit.

  • How many students attend the school?
  • Are the number of students per year consistent, or is enrollment expected to change?
  • How many freshmen return the second year? How many graduate?
  • What percentage of students participate in campus clubs or groups?
  • What do students do for fun?
  • What are the school’s main events and traditions?
  • Where do students typically hang out off-campus?
  • Do many students attend athletic games?

Questions about housing

Some colleges require freshmen to live on campus, while others are made up mostly of commuters. Asking about housing will give you a sense of the college culture, as well as your options for cutting down on room and board costs, which are typically a big portion of any tuition bill.

  • Are students required to live on campus?
  • What is the percentage of students living on-campus vs. commuting?
  • What housing options are there?
  • How are roommates assigned?
  • What are the best dorms to live in, and why?

Questions about learning opportunities

Some of the best academic opportunities in college happen off-campus, from study-abroad programs to internships. If you’re interested in broadening your horizons, ask about what programs and partnerships a school has beyond the classroom.

  • Do students have research or field work opportunities outside the classroom?
  • Does the school have an honors college?
  • How do academic advisors interact with students at this school?
  • Are there study-abroad programs? If so, what countries do they go to?
  • Do any companies partner with the school for summer internships?
  • Are there any programs that would give me hands-on experience in my area of study?

Questions about life after graduation

You may just be starting college but it's never too soon to begin thinking about what you'll do after graduation. To get a sense of what to expect after you graduate, ask questions about career services and the type of resources available to alumni.

  • How many career fairs does the school host?
  • Which companies attend career fairs at the school and do they recruit students?
  • What career counseling does the school offer recent graduates? Alumni? Are these services free, or is there a fee?
  • How active is the alumni network?
  • What percentage of students get internships?
  • What percentage of students go to graduate or professional school?
  • What graduate schools do students most attend after graduation?

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