Many high school students take college or University tours over holiday or summer break to determine if the school is a good fit. The questions you ask on the college tour can help determine if the school is right for you. Ideally you should talk to more than just the admission staff. In advance of the trip try to arrange a visit with a professor or two in your field of interest and ask to shadow a current student in your chosen field of study for a few hours. Not every school will comply with your request, but most admission staff will be impressed with your desire to really learn what life is like at their university and that will go a long way towards setting you apart from the crowded pool of applicants.
Here are a list of questions I recommend you ask:
- How much time do students typically spend on homework?
- How much writing and reading are expected?
- What is the average class size of the introductory classes?
- How widely used are teaching assistants on campus?
- What is the average class size of upper-division courses?
- What opportunities are there for undergraduate research?
- How many students participate in undergraduate research?
- Is there a culminating senior year experience?
- Do you have a learning community or other freshmen experience?
- What is the average financial aid package?
- What is the typical breakdown of loans versus grants?
- What percentage of financial need does the school typically meet?
- What is the average merit award?
- What percentage of students receive college grants?
- What is the average college debt that students leave with after graduation?
- What type of work study opportunities are there?
Graduation Track Record
- What is your four-year graduation rate?
- What is your five-year graduation rate?
- What does it take to graduate in four years?
- What percentage of freshmen return for sophomore year?
- What type of tutoring programs do you have on campus?
- How do you provide academic advice to students?
- Do you have a writing center and how do I access it?
- What type of learning disability resources do you have?
- How many students at the college get internships?
- What percentage of students study abroad?
- What type of career services do you have?
- What type of dorm choices are there?
- What percentage of students live on campus?
- How long are dorm accommodations guaranteed?
- How many students live on campus?
- Do most students go home on weekends?
- What percentage of the student body belongs to a sorority or fraternity?
- What activities are offered to students?
- What clubs do you have on campus?
If you have any other questions about selecting a college, or the admissions process, feel free to contact me through my website at www.Prep4collegeNow.com or call me at 760.877.7200. I’d love to answer your questions!
Andrea (Andi) Frimmer, M. Ed.