Juniors: Questions to Ask when Visiting Campus

In the official group information sessions colleges offer, an admission officer will usually provide an overview of the college -- the school’s history, academic programs, undergraduate life, athletics, the application process, and financial aid-- followed by a question and answer session for students and parents. (Quick tip: let students lead with their questions first!)

During this Q&A, the admission officer will be able to provide you with answers about most aspects of daily life on campus— academics, housing, any special programs such as study- abroad opportunities. But don’t be afraid to have them address broader queries about the who, what, and why of the campus -- and the application process. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

• What impresses you the most in a student’s application?

• What are you looking for when you read students’ essays?

• What are some of the things you hate to see in an application?

• Is demonstrated interest a factor in your admission decision?

• Are admission decisions need- blind?

• What kind of student does well here? What kind of student doesn’t do well here?

• Did you attend this college? What has changed since you’ve been here?

• What changes do you see taking place on campus in the next five years?

• What are recent alumni doing?

• What do you think your school is best known for?

• How would you describe the typical student here?

• How does the school help freshmen adjust to college?

• How is academic advising handled?

• Are there on-campus jobs available for students?

• How are roommates assigned?

• What is the Internet situation? Is the entire campus wireless? Do you support Macs or PCs?

Next week we'll be back with some suggested questions for campus students and tour guides during your visit. And in the meantime, for more information about college visits, see Chapter 9, “College Visits” in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step

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