Campus Visit Tips
Start online: College websites contain a wealth of information and can help you decide if you want to spend the time and money on a campus visit. Take a thorough look—not just at the home page. Take note major events, student awards, faculty accomplishments, athletic teams, etc. Look up the list of courses for majors you’re interested in. E-mail faculty with specific questions.
Schedule a visit: You can sign up online for a campus tour (usually led by a current student) and information session (usually led by an admissions representative). Sign up for both. If you want to speak to someone in the financial aid office or meet with someone in a specific program, arrange it before your visit.
Absorb the culture: If possible, stay overnight in the dorm, eat in the dining hall, or arrange to sit in on a class. Pick up a school newspaper. Ask students in the student center or on the quad what they think of their school; they may be more candid that your tour guide.
Write down your impressions: If you’re visiting multiple schools in a day or week, it’s easy to forget which school had the newly renovated science labs and which school had the grim Freshman dorm rooms. Make a note of what you liked and didn’t like about each school as soon as you can after your visit. Snap photos for reference.
Download the CCC's Guide to College Visits.
Some Questions to Ask on a Campus Visit
• What services are available to help students academically and socially?
• What is the average size of classes taken by freshmen? This is much more revealing than asking about the student/faculty ratio.
• What types of financial aid does the college offer and how do I apply?
• Are all freshmen assigned to an academic advisor?
• Where do most freshmen live?
• How successful are the college's graduates in finding jobs?• What type of student would be most successful here?• What type of student would not be successful here?• What's the biggest misconception about this school?• What are your doing to prepare students for their next step (internships, research opportunities, career center, etc.)
Questions to Ask Students (such as your tour guide)
• How easy is it to meet with faculty?
• Are you able to register for the classes you want?
• What do students do on weekends? Do most students stay on campus or leave?
• If you could change one thing about your college, what would it be?• What do you like most about this college?