It may seem difficult to determine if a college is a good fit for your student. After you determine if the school answers the question, “Is it comfortable yet challenging?” there are other questions that need to be answered as you narrow down your choices. Dr. Lynn O’Shaughnessy from “The College Solution” wrote an excellent blog on what questions to ask while visiting a college campus. Below is an excerpt from her blog.
One of the best ways to learn more about a college is to visit their campuses. When you are on campus, you should ask lots of questions. Ideally, you should talk to more than just the admission staff. Stop a few students during your stay and ask them what they like and don’t like about their school. If possible, talk to a professor or two.
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 advise 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?