Updated on March 23rd, 2021
A campus tour is an opportunity. Visitors have a chance to learn more about the school, which can be critical for the college selection process. But figuring out what questions to ask on a college visit isn’t always easy. Your student only has a small amount of time to find out what they need to know.
College visit questions need to allow your student to discover the information they can’t find elsewhere. It’s a crucial part of making the most of the college tour experience. At times, this means broaching topics that aren’t discussed on the school’s website, in the college’s brochures, or student reviews. In others, it’s all about diving deeper into a subject that’s only touched on online or in college materials.
Luckily, choosing the questions to ask on a college visit doesn’t have to be a challenge. If your student doesn’t know where to begin, here are some helpful questions to ask when touring a college they can use.
- 1 Why College Visit Questions Are Important
- 2 Sample Questions to Ask on a College Tour
- 3 When to Bring Up Your Questions to Ask When Visiting Colleges
Why College Visit Questions Are Important
Most colleges make a ton of information available to prospective students. A school’s website is often massive, providing a solid overview of everything from the admissions process to the available programs to housing. Even extracurricular activities are typically covered. Usually, the site provides more details than any student would be able to cover.
Plus, schools usually have other information resources available. Booklets and brochures are the most common option. Additionally, many colleges have YouTube channels, allowing them to easily share videos that showcase the campus, curriculum, and student life.
With all of that information available, it wouldn’t seem like your student needs to ready any questions for a college visit. But that isn’t the case. While preparing questions to ask when touring a college doesn’t seem critical on the surface, it’s incredibly important.
Even with all of the available resources, specific topics might not be covered. By creating a list of questions to ask when visiting colleges, your student makes sure that they can discover details that aren’t discussed elsewhere.
Additionally, a ‘questions to ask on a college tour’ list lets your student focus on subjects that matter most to them. Not only will they guarantee that they don’t overlook something critical to their decision-making process, but they also ensure they cover the same information at every college tour. That way, they can fairly compare their options.
When it comes to questions to ask when visiting colleges, the options seem nearly endless. However, by focusing on the right areas, your student can gather crucial details they need. Then, when it comes time to choose a college, they have enough information to make that decision.
In most cases, your student will have a chance to speak with the tour guide. However, they can also reach out to current students, as they can be an excellent resource when you want to learn about that school’s college experience.
Here are 57 sample questions to ask on a college tour, broken into categories.
Basic Questions to Ask on College Visits
- Why differentiates this school from other colleges?
- Are you happy being a student (teacher) at this school?
- What are this school’s strengths?
- If you had to say, what’s your biggest complaint about this college?
- What is one area where this school could improve?
- How accessible are the professors, financial aid officers, student services employees, etc.?
- What’s the average financial aid package look like?
- What do the four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates look like?
- How many freshmen return here for their sophomore year?
Academic Questions to Ask During a College Visit
- Which majors are the most popular here, and why?
- How many courses/hours does the average full-time student take each semester?
- What programs or departments have the strongest reputations?
- What teaching style do most professors here use?
- Are most classes led by professors or teaching assistants?
- Is accessing first-choice classes a challenge?
- Do classes tend to be discussion-based or lecture-based?
- How much time should students expect to dedicate to studying and assignments outside of the classroom?
- Are collaborative or group projects common requirements?
- Do students have access to tutoring programs, writing centers, computer labs, or other learning-oriented resources?
- What’s the average number of students in a classroom at a time for introductory courses? What about advanced classes?
- Is studying abroad an available or popular option?
- Are there opportunities for undergraduate research?
- Is the Disability Services office helpful? What resources do they make available to qualifying students?
Campus Life College Visit Questions
- What does an average day for a first-year student look like here?
- What do students do when they aren’t in class?
- What are weekends like on campus?
- Is there a vibrant social scene?
- Where do students go to hang out?
- Is there something about the local community that sets it apart?
- What student organizations or clubs are the most popular?
- Are there a lot of fraternities or sororities?
- If a student was looking for a great place to study, where on-campus should they go besides their dorm room or the library?
- What facilities (gyms, libraries, theaters, labs, etc.) are available to students?
- Is the WiFi on campus fast? Are there dead spots on campus? Does it go down a lot?
- Are sports a big part of this school’s culture?
Residence Life Questions to Ask When Touring a College
- What is the dorm environment like? How many students are there per room? Are the bathrooms private or shared? Are there kitchens, laundry rooms, or lounges?
- Are dorms separated by shared interest, academic year, or another criterion?
- Do most students get along with their initially assigned roommate or are changes frequently requested?
- If I need a room switch, is that possible? Who do I contact?
- How’s the cafeteria or on-campus food?
- Do the dining halls accommodate special dietary requirements?
- Are there any local restaurants that students love?
- Can you get around easily without a car? What are the available transportation options?
Student Body Questions for a College Visit
- What makes this student body unique?
- Is this a diverse campus? Are there international students?
- Are students generally friendly?
- What percentage of the students live in the dorms?
- Does this school have a lot of cliques?
- Does it ever feel too crowded here?
- Have there been any student protests on campus recently? What issue was the focus?
Work and Career Questions to Ask on a College Tour
- Can you find internships here? Where do you go to learn more about them?
- Are work-study options available?
- Is the Career Services office helpful?
- Are there leadership opportunities on campus?
- Does the school help students get involved in the community? What opportunities are available?
- Can students find summer jobs through the college or in the local community with ease?
- Is the alumni association active and visible on campus?
When to Bring Up Your Questions to Ask When Visiting Colleges
If your student wants to go through their questions to ask on a college visit list, they need to time them wisely. Interrupting the guide or preventing others from having an opportunity to ask their questions are both bad ideas. Similarly, broaching topics at strange moments – such as asking about dorm life when you haven’t made it to the dorm part of the tour – isn’t a great move.
Instead, your student should try to align their questions with each segment of the tour. For example, as they go through the classroom buildings, asking about the academic experience is appropriate. Once they reach the cafeteria, asking about the food is fine.
Just make sure your student gives others a chance to get their questions answered, too. They probably aren’t the only student participating, so they need to give others the space to find out what they want to know.
Additionally, your student shouldn’t stress if they can’t get every question answered during the tour. Usually, once the exploration part is done, there will be another chance to learn more about topics that weren’t covered.
If you and your student want to learn more about finding scholarships, sign up for our free college scholarship webinar! Head over to https://thescholarshipsystem.com/freewebinar to reserve your spot today.