Juniors: Strike up a conversation with students while visiting campus

You got the admission office perspective at the info session and on the tour, but don’t forget to get the unofficial perspective during your downtime on campus. The best way to do that is to talk to current students who aren’t on the admission office “payroll.” Conquer any shyness and strike up a conversation with the girl studying on the quad or the guy in line at the bookstore. Most students are more than happy to talk with your about their experience! Your opening line can be as simple as “I’m visiting because I might apply to come here. Mind if I ask you something?” And then ask away:

• Why did you decide to go to school here?

• What was your biggest surprise about the school?

• How much time do you spend studying? Where do you study?

• How hard is it to get the classes you need?

• Do students get along well with each other?

• Why do students like the school?

• What are the drawbacks to going to school here?

• Who fits in here and who doesn’t?

• If you could change anything about this school, what would it be?

• How much time do students spend studying?

• How do you meet people on campus?

• What is the social life like on campus?

• What do you like most about the school?

• What was freshman year like? How difficult was the transition?

• Are the residence halls places where people study . . . or party? Are they coed? Are there single- sex options? Are there laundry and kitchen facilities available?

• How is the food?


For more information about college visits, including where to get off the beaten path and more questions to ask financial aid officers and tour guides, see Chapter 9, “College Visits” in College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step.

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