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Campus Visit Guidelines

Printer Friendly (includes Campus Exploration Worksheet)

Before you visit

  • Contact the admissions office through the college’s website, email, or phone number to make a reservation.

Most Campus visits include:

  • Information sessions with an admissions representative and a campus tour.
  • Tours are often led by current students and give you a chance to ask questions.

At many colleges you can arrange to do the following also:

  • Attend a class,
  • Meet with a professor,
  • Meet with an admissions officer,
  • Meet with a financial aid officer,
  • Attend a club meeting or a sports practice session,
  • Eat in the dining hall,
  • Spend a night in a dorm room.

Do your research on the college and prioritize what you want to see. Some less obvious sources besides the college website are:

  • Listen to the college radio station,
  • Read the student newspaper,
  • Read student publications and school blogs.

You may be trying to visit multiple campuses in one trip. If you do, bring a chart on which to take notes. It will be helpful to look at later when you are making decisions.

When to visit

  • If possible, visit the colleges before your applications are due–this will save you money in application fees.
  • Visit when the college is in session. You will get a more accurate feel for the school. Think of it this way—If you visited WHS at 5:00 p.m. would it be different than visiting during 4th hour?
  • Be sure to plan ahead and talk to the admissions office to maximize your visit!

Questions to Ask

Academics

  • What is the average class size? May I see a classroom or visit a class? If you are visiting a science classroom and see a lot of research/lab materials, ask questions such as, “Do underclassman get to use these materials or do graduate students only have access to these resources?”
  • How are classes structured? Are they lecture, discussion/small group, or a combination?
  • Are admission standards higher for certain majors? For some majors, you must apply after your freshman year and not everyone is guaranteed acceptance! Find out the requirements and percentage of students accepted to these programs!
  • What percentage of the faculty is full-time? If faculty are not full-time, it can be harder to get access to them for help.
  • What percentage of undergraduate courses are taught by professors versus graduate assistants/Teaching Assistants (TAs).
  • What type of academic supports do you offer?
  • Do you offer free tutoring? Is there a writing lab? Is there a study skills lab?
  • Do you have a freshman year experience? Many schools have these programs to help with the transition both academically and socially. It may include how they approach housing and/or common classes.

Financial

  • What is the typical breakdown of loans versus grants in your aid packages?
  • What is the job placement rate in your major of study?
  • What is the acceptance rate to graduate schools in your major of study?
  • What is the four-year, five-year, and six-year graduation rate? Taking longer than four years to complete your degree increases your tuition and housing costs! Remember, you need to budget for this!

Life on Campus

  • Do you require students to live on campus?
  • How are residence halls grouped:
    • By class? Some schools try to keep students in the same class (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) together while other schools do not.
    • By floor? Some schools group students by class on the same floor while others have created small learning communities based on majors.
    • Co-ed? Some schools try to keep men and women in separate by building, wings or floors.
  • Do you require students to live on campus?
  • How many students live on campus after freshman year?
  • What options for housing are available to students after freshman year? Are there off/on campus complexes or are students on their own to find housing?
    • How many students typically stay on campus each weekend—especially freshman year? If you are attending a campus away from home and the majority of the students leave campus on the weekend, it can be pretty lonely.
  • Ask your student tour guide about his/her experience.
    • What do you like best about your school? What do you like least about your school?
    • If you could change one thing about your school, what would it be?
    • Why did you pick this school? What other schools were you considering?
    • What does a successful student look like at this school?
    • What did you do last weekend? This will give you a better answer than asking what students do on the weekend.
  • Are all students required to do a capstone experience? If yes, how are advisors/mentors assigned?
  • How many students participate in a study abroad program? What study abroad programs are available?
  • What types of internships are available?
  • What type of help is available to assist with internship opportunities?
  • What type of research opportunities are available to undergraduates—be specific about being an undergraduate! Some opportunities are only for graduate students even though their research programs are highlighted.

Health and Safety

  • What services are offered at your health center? Are there mental health services on campus?
  • Is there shuttle service available? How late and where do they run?
  • How many incidences of crime were reported last year?
  • Does security patrol campus? How many security staff are there? How often do they patrol?

Life after college

  • What career services are available? How long after graduation are career services available?
  • What is the job placement rate for students in your major/field of study?
  • What is the acceptance rate for graduate study in your major/field of study?
  • Ask about their Alumni.
    • What is the alumni level of support? (It is a good indicator of how much they enjoyed their experience and it will be an indicator of potential financial support for the school and potential networking resources for future employment).

College Exploration Worksheet

COLLEGE NAME

 

 

 

Size

  • Enrollment
  • Physical size of campus

 

 

 

Environment

  • Type of school (2yr., 4yr. Technical)
  • School setting (urban, rural)
  • Location and size of nearest city
  • Co-ed, male, female
  • Religious affiliation

 

 

 

Admission Requirements

  • Deadline
  • Tests required
  • Avg. test scores, GPA,
  • Notification

 

 

 

Academics

  • Your major offered
  • Special requirements
  • Prof. /T.A.-Grad. Asst.
  • Typical class size
  • Other

 

 

 

Expenses

  • Tuition, room &board
  • Books, travel, etc.
  • Application fee, deposits
  • Estimated total budget

 

 

 

Financial Aid

  • % receiving aid
  • Scholarships
  • Required forms
  • Deadline

 

 

 

Housing

  • Organization
  • Requirements
  • Options for freshman versus upper classman
  • Food plan

 

 

 

Facilities

  • Security
  • Academic
  • Recreational
  • Other

 

 

 

Activities

  • Organizations
  • Study Abroad
  • Internships
  • Greek Life
  • Other