12 questions to ask before you visit a college

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Are you planning to visit college campuses during the summer? Before you pack the car and fill the gas tank, make sure you do some basic research. College websites are a great place to start. Knowing more about a college will help you formulate better questions to ask once you get there and help you decide what factors are most important to you.

Group touring college building

Here are some questions to ask first:

  • What is the cost including per credit, extra fees, books, housing, etc.? (Many schools will give the cost per credit for example, $125.85, but don’t include the extra fees.)
  • What scholarships are available? How do I apply? What is the due date?
  • Which degrees are offered?
  • Is the program you are interested in available? Is there a waiting list?
  • Are the college and program or degree accredited? Is there a certification as part of the program? Is it a national or state certification?
  • What are the admission requirements and deadlines?
  • What is the average class size?

After you have completed your preliminary research, schedule your visit by contacting the admissions office. Weekday visits when classes are in session allow you to see what the college is really like. You might even be able to sit in on a class or talk with students enrolled in the program you are interested in.

When you are on campus ask about student life. What types of campus organizations and activities does the college offer? Find out what type of support is available for students and graduates. Does the college provide connections with employers such as job fairs, internships, or mock interviews?

Ask for graduate employment data. Where do graduates find employment? Is there an alumni association for networking opportunities?

If you plan to commute or keep a car on campus, you probably should ask about parking and other related rules and costs. You will need to add these costs to your college budget. Some colleges require health insurance—another cost to add.

Be sure to bring a notebook or electronic tablet along and record the answers so you can compare them to other colleges on your list. You may want to create a spreadsheet for these purposes. Record your impressions too. Some people find it helpful to create a two-column chart of positives and negatives.

Hope these suggestions make your college decision less stressful and more manageable.

Related articles:

Campus Visit Checklist

10 Ways to Learn About Colleges Online

How to Make the Most of a College Visit