Finding the college that is perfect for you can seem daunting. There are so many factors to consider. These include location, safety, and overall fit.
It’s always best to tour a college when classes are in session. That way, you can get an accurate feel for how it will be when you’re there. You can guarantee a great college visit by asking good questions on your tour.
Most college tour guides are student ambassadors, so it’s your opportunity to get a true student perspective. These are 10 important questions to ask your tour guide when you visit colleges.
1. What makes your college unique?
Whether it’s a new biology lab or an award-winning debate team, this question shows you a lot about a college. While your college tour will highlight campus buildings, classrooms, and the student center, this question will showcase less obvious perks.
This question can tell you what programs are under the spotlight. If this is the program you are interested in, then you won’t need to worry about working with outdated equipment.
This question will also help you understand which departments are receiving funding and if the university invests in your interests.
2. How is the dining hall food?
Dining hall food gets a bad rap. Usually because eating the same thing over and over again gets boring. And it’s extremely important to know about options when your kitchen is limited in a dorm. The tour guide is a student, so they will be honest about their dining hall experience.
If they mostly focus on alternative food options like on-campus restaurants, then the dining hall food probably isn’t the best. Most college tours will give you a meal ticket to eat at the dining hall, so you can experience it yourself.
Keep in mind that the food that day may be better than it usually is because the university has planned the visit. Request that you walk through the dining hall if it is not a planned stop on your tour.
3. Why did you choose this university?
Knowing why your tour guide chose this university can show you what they prioritize.
Common answers will most likely mention the community, educational opportunities, or social reasons. This will help you determine the mindset of most students at the university.
If the focus is on socializing, you may be looking at a party school. If the focus is on academics, you still have to make sure that’s the right fit for you.
4. Where is your favorite place to study?
This is a great opportunity to find out if most students socialize on or off campus. If your tour guide gives an answer like the school library or campus coffee shop, most students socialize on campus.
If they answer with a location in the town surrounding the university, it’s likely that most students don’t spend their free time on campus.
5. Do most students stay on campus for the weekend?
Some colleges are referred to as suitcase colleges, meaning that students pack up and head home for the weekend. These campuses do not host many social events on weekends and cafeterias have limited hours.
You would likely spend weekends at college if you do not go home when attending this type of college. Universities that draw a more geographically diverse student population usually have more social events planned on weekends.
6. What percentage of students live on campus?
This will let you know if the college is mostly campus-based or commuter-based.
On average, about 15% of students live on campus. Colleges with a high commuter rate are often more likely to have on-campus housing issues that won’t be fixed. These issues can range from leaks to mold.
Colleges with a high volume of people living on campus are more likely to fix those housing issues. More people are paying into the housing budget, so there’s more money to put toward repairs.
7. What is the best dorm to live in?
Though this question may seem simple, some universities have older buildings that may not have accessibility features or air conditioning.
Your tour guide is a student, so they will give you their honest opinion. You may want to find out if there is housing specifically for your major or athletic program.
Living with people who share common interests can help you make friends more effortlessly.
8. What is the greatest study tool you have found in college?
The tour guide may give you advice on the best study spots on campus. You may also find out ways to cut down on textbook costs or find helpful study programs. These study programs can help when it comes to memorizing definitions or studying by yourself.
Quizlet allows you to make flashcards and quiz yourself on course materials.
9. Is it possible to have a job during school?
Many people work a job at some point during their college career. This question will help you figure out how rigorous courses are.
It can also highlight what kind of financial background other students are coming from. If no one works on the campus you’re touring, it could mean students take out loans or have someone else paying their bills.
If it is unrealistic to work, but you know you will need to, then look at other colleges.
10. What is your class schedule like?
If your tour guide is in the major you’re interested in, this is a great time to find out insider information.
You can learn about the best professors and internship opportunities. You can learn about what classes are worth taking and which ones to avoid. Don’t be afraid to ask how many hours they study each week too.
Though finding the right college for you may seem stressful, know that you can do it. Ask these questions on your next college visit to find out if it’s the right fit for you.
Remember to ask about housing and dining as well as work-life balance. Imagine yourself on campus. If you feel at home, you very well could have found the right college for you.