There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a school. Before your first campus visit, it’s a good idea to sit down and consider what’s important to you. Think about what you’re hoping to get out of your college experience. Your campus visits are the best time to get as much real-life information about the school as possible.
Figuring out what you want in a school can be tricky, so we’ve compiled a few suggestions to get you started.
Here are some questions you can (and should) ask at your campus visits to help you make the best choice for your future.
1) Financial aid questions:
- What is your average freshman aid package?
- What is your average upperclassman aid package?
- What percentage of aid is awarded as grants versus loans?
- What does the average merit award look like?
- What is the average debt your graduating students leave with?
2) Success questions:
- What is your four year graduation rate? Five year?
- What are the graduation requirements? How many credits per semester are expected to graduate in four years?
- What are your attrition rates? Or, what is your retention rate?
3) Support questions:
- How are freshman and new students oriented to the school?
- What academic support programs are in place? Tutoring, writing center, counseling, advisement, etc.
- What kind of alumni support programs do you offer? Career services, alumni networks, etc.
- What student health services are available?
- How large is the campus security or police force? What is dorm security like?
4) Academic questions:
- How many majors do you offer? (If you have specific fields of study you are interested in, be sure to ask about those. Not every school offers every program.)
- What is the average 100 level course size? 300 level?
- How are teaching assistants used?
- What are the general education course requirements?
- What is your policy on accepting AP course credits and college-level work?
- How difficult is it to register for the classes that you want? How quickly do upper level and freshman courses fill up?
- Are courses generally lecture based, discussion based, or project based?
5) Transfer questions:
- What is your transfer credit policy?
- What additional courses will I be required to take to catch up?
- How do you help transfer students assimilate?
- Bring a copy of your transcripts, and ask for an on-site credit evaluation if possible.
6) Student life questions:
- What are my options for living on-campus?
- What kinds of clubs exist on campus?
- What athletic teams exist, both NCAA and intramural?
- What school-sponsored activities exist for student participation?
- If applicable, ask what kinds of transportation services exist for students.
- What are food services like? Do you have to eat in the cafeteria? What are the hours?
- What is the surrounding community like?
- What study-abroad options exist? Does the school have its own programs?
Of course, if you have any special circumstances, unique needs or medical requirements, be sure to ask how the school and its staff can best accommodate those needs.
If you have a chance to meet with students, take advantage of it! Only current students can truly tell you what it’s like to attend that school. If your guide is a current student, ask why they decided to attend the school.
There are a lot of questions that you can ask at a campus visit. Many of them may be answered on a general tour, but it’s a good idea to know what’s important to you, and not leave until you have answers to your important questions. After all, choosing a school is an important decision!
To schedule your summer campus visit and tour of Hilbert College, click here. We have a spot reserved for you!