It’s getting close to spring, and this is a great time of year for juniors to start looking at campuses they are thinking of applying to in the fall. College tours give a student the chance to see and get the feel of a college. You can also get a sense of the travel it will entail to and from the college. On college tours you will get a chance to meet students and faculty and attend classes. You might even stay in a dorm overnight and get a sense of the recreation on campus. College tours also offer a time for you to ask questions from real students. FAQs on websites and in pamphlets are too general. Now is the time you get a chance to ask about your particular interests and concerns.
Here are some general questions to ask that you might not think of but which are important to you:
- Is this a commuter college? How many students go home on the weekends?
- Who helps me choose my courses, a peer adviser or a faculty adviser?
- What are the general requirements (GEs) for underclassmen? These can vary from 5 humanities, 5 lab sciences, and 3 math classes to one humanity, 1 lab science, 1 math class, and a world religion course.
- What is the percentage of Greek participation on this campus, and are the fraternities/sororities residential or social?
- Do you have a career center and are there internship opportunities here?
- What is your study abroad program like?
- How are health emergencies handled on campus and how many hospitals are available off-campus?
- Are there tutors to give me academic support? Are there peer study groups? Are the writing and other learning centers 24/7?
- What is the availability of off-campus housing?
- What are the off-campus hangouts for the campus’ students?
Your tour guide can answer questions that will help you really zero in on campus conditions. Here are a few ideas to help you get the most relevant information:
- Rather than ask about the average class size, which is figured for both lecture classes and seminar classes, ask your tour guide how big their first year classes were.
- Ask which professor most inspired them and why.
- Ask what is the hardest class to get into. Determine if it’s because of the professor’s popularity because it’s a required class and there aren’t enough available.
- Ask what they wishes they knew in freshman year that they know now
- Ask what the hardest thing to adapt to was when they first came. You may be surprised at what they say!
- Ask what they did last weekend for fun, and what they did the weekend before that
These are a few questions to get you thinking. It is good for you to think about what would make you comfortable in your first home away from home and write them out so you get a chance to find out what the campus might really offer you.