Most colleges and universities offer campus information sessions where you can learn more about the school and quality of campus life. Whether you aren’t sure what you want from your college experience and just need to learn more, or you know exactly what you want and need to see if a particular school matches up, it’s important to head into the session with some guided preparation, which you can learn more about in Part One of this series.
Next, you’ll need to come up with a list of relevant and important questions to ask. If the session includes discussions led by a student, you may want to ask more personalized questions about what he or she likes most about the campus experience, or what aspects he or she might change if given the chance.
There will more than likely be official university representatives at the info session as well, so be sure to identify more formalized questions you may have about the school (that can’t easily be found on its website) as well.
Below are some example questions to get you started in a number of categories:
What kind of support services are available?
What would you say the college’s academic strengths are? Weaknesses?
What are the core class requirements?
How quickly do I need to decide on a major?
What sets this school apart from others?
What’s an average class size in the smallest major? In the biggest? Overall?
What percentage of courses are taught by a teaching assistant?
What’s the advising experience like?
How easy is it to switch majors / choose classes?
What percentage of students are commuter students? Do freshmen live in separate housing from upperclassmen? Do upperclassmen typically move off-campus, and what are the challenges to finding off-campus housing?
Are meal plans mandatory? What are some alternative dining options for those with dietary restrictions, food allergies, etc.?
Which facilities have been improved in the last five years? Which ones do you plan to improve?
What do you think the most difficult adjustment for students is?
What percentage of students are part of the Greek system?
What’s a typical weekend like for on-campus students?
How important are sporting events to the campus life?
What clubs are available and what percentage of your students participate in clubs or intramurals?
How many different “schools” are there within the college? How easy would it be to transfer from the School of Engineering to the Liberal Arts School, for example?
What are your job placement rates? Graduate school placement rates?
What services do you provide to graduating students to help them find jobs?
What study abroad opportunities do you offer?
What opportunities are available for jobs, research positions, or internships on campus?
What scholarships does your school offer?
Can you tell me a little bit about the financial aid trends for students here? How many receive financial aid, and what kind?
What advice would you give about applying to this school?
How does the application process here differ from that of other schools?
Campus Safety and Resources
How can students reach campus safety officers?
What are the general safety policies on campus? Off campus?
What’s the area around the campus like in terms of safety?
What safety resources do you offer that other schools don’t, or that you think are particularly notable?
How does health care work for students?
While in the session, listen for good questions asked by others as well and add them to your list for the next school if you find them useful. Be sure to take clear notes on the answers you receive so you can compare them with other schools later. If you still have questions that are more specific to your experience, consider scheduling a one-on-one session with an advisor or ask about the opportunity to meet with representatives who might pay a visit to your high school later.
Keep an eye out for Part Three of this series to learn how to evaluate the most important take-aways from these sessions…
Any topics you want to know more about? Let us know! The Varsity Tutors Blog editors love hearing your feedback and opinions. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.