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Campus Tour Checklist

Make the most of your campus tours.



Choosing the college where you'll spend the next two or four years can be challenging, but doing your research and being prepared with questions on a range of topics will help you sort the campuses you love from those you don't. Here is a checklist of questions to ask at each campus you visit.

Admissions 

  • What are the admissions requirements?
  • Which standardized tests are required?
  • What applications and documents are required to apply for admission?
  • What is the deadline for admission applications?
  • Is there an application fee? Can it be waived if I can't afford it?
  • Are there any additional lab, computer, studio or other fees?

Financial Aid

  • What is the total cost of attendance at this college? (Search by Googling "cost of attendance" and the name of the college.)
  • Is the cost of attendance expected to stay the same over the next two or four years?
  • What institutional aid is available from this college?
  • What is the college's net price? (Use the College Net Price Calculator found on the college web page.)
  • What applications or documents are required to apply for campus scholarships and financial aid?
  • What is the deadline for financial aid and scholarship applications?
  • If I qualify for Work-Study aid, what jobs are available and how do I get one?

Academic

  • What is the academic calendar for this college? (This is usually found online.)
  • Who will teach my courses — professors or teaching assistants?
  • What is the faculty to student ratio?
  • How accessible are faculty to students? Do most have regular office hours?
  • What is the average class size?
  • Who will be my academic advisor?
  • What academic support services are available?
  • When must I choose a major?
  • Will I be able to finish my bachelor's degree in four years?
  • Will I need to buy my own computer? What kind should I buy?
  • Are there computer labs, printing and copying services available?
  • What is the library like? What hours is it open?
  • How much should I expect to spend on textbooks and other supplies?
  • Do you offer career or employment placement services?
  • How many graduates get a job in their chosen field?

Residential Life

  • What are the living arrangements on campus? Dorms, apartments, off-campus?
  • Is housing guaranteed for all four years? If not, what are my options?
  • Will I live alone or with a roommate?
  • Will I get to select my own roommate?
  • What is the deadline to secure student housing?
  • Where are the dining halls? What hours are they open?
  • What are the available meal plans?
  • What appliances am I allowed to bring?
  • Is cable TV available in the dorms?
  • Is the campus computer network available in the rooms?
  • Does the campus have wireless access?
  • Where will I do my laundry? Are there enough washers and dryers for all the students living in the dorm?
  • Can I bring a car to campus? If so, will I have to pay extra fees for parking? Will I be able to park close to my dorm or apartment?
  • Is there bus transportation around campus and into town?
  • May I bring a bike to campus? Where can I park it? Will it be secure?
  • What is the crime rate on campus? What is the crime rate in the college's town/city?
  • Is there campus security or police?
  • Are the residence halls locked at all times?
  • Where do I go if I get sick? Is there a pharmacy on or near campus?
  • Do I need to buy special health insurance or is my parent's or my own health insurance enough?

Student Life

  • What clubs and special interest groups are available?
  • Are there intramural or club sports available?
  • Are there fraternities and sororities available? How important is Greek Life to the campus?
  • Are there any programs to help students adjust to campus life?
  • What's it like on campus during the weekends?
  • Are there jobs available on campus or in the local community?
  • How diverse is the student body?
  • Where do most students come from — around the region, state, country, international?
  • Is there a shopping mall nearby?
  • What is the surrounding community like? Is it safe?
  • Is there a strong school spirit?
  • Are there places of worship on campus or nearby in the community?

Athletics

  • If you are planning to participate in varsity sports, there are many important questions to ask the management and staff during your interviews. Detailed information about being a student-athlete can be found at http://www.ncaa.org/student-athletes

Other Considerations

  • Review lab, studio or practice spaces for specialized majors like science, art or music — are they adequate and up-to-date?
  • Eat in the dining hall or cafeteria during your visit — how do you like the food?
  • How will I get to and from campus? Will it be easy to get home during school breaks? What are the estimated travel costs?
  • Take time to read course descriptions either online or in the printed course catalog. Are they interesting and pertinent to your major?

Download the College Search Booklet to help guide you through the process of choosing a college.

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