Calling all high school seniors.
Are you currently looking for a college to attend? Have you gone on college tours but haven’t gotten any closer to making a decision on where you’re going to spend the next four years of your life?
Try compiling a list of questions to ask your guide on your next tour! Regardless of whether or not you have been asking questions, it can be difficult to choose the best questions that actually give you the information you need.
Here are 100 questions that you can choose to ask on your next college tour so that you will be one step closer to choosing the best university for you.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Book a College Tour
Think about what you want to get out of college. Think about the campus of your dreams—what does it look like? Look into any flyers or pamphlets you may have gotten in the mail from colleges. Do any of those schools interest you? In order to pick a college, you have to start by rooting through lots of them.
- Where do I want to study? Do I like cold or hot weather? Rural or urban?
- Do I want to stay close to home or start fresh somewhere far away? How much does it cost to travel home (via car, plane, shuttle, bus, etc.)? Or do I want to study abroad in a different country?
- Do I want to go with my friends? Or do I want to meet entirely new people?
- What field am I thinking about going into? What is my desired major? Are there any colleges nearby that have good programs? Or would I be better off in a different state?
- Do I want to live on a big campus with thousands of people or a small campus? Public or private university?
- What is the reputation of the school I’m applying to? How will I represent my school and how will the school represent me?
- What is the surrounding area like? Small college town or busy city? What is there to do around campus?
- What campus do I want to tour?
- How am I going to pay for school?
- Is the surrounding area considered safe?
Learn About the School History: Learn a little bit about the school you are applying to. What about the history of the school interests you?
- How old is the school? When was it founded?
- Who founded the school? What’s the story behind the school’s founding? How did it happen?
- How has the school changed since it opened its doors?
- What are the historical landmarks of the campus?
- Is there a special meaning behind locations, buildings, or statues around campus?
- Who are the buildings named after? Why?
- What is the history of the city or town around the school? How has it changed over time too?
- Why is your school’s mascot what it is? What is the school’s motto?
- How has the school attained the reputation it has today?
- What are some time-honoured traditions at the school?
Get to Know Your Tour Guide
Remember, your student guide on a campus tour is just that; a student. This is your chance to ask questions about their experience. Get to know them and hear about their personal experience attending classes and living college life. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that might have a negative answer.
Choosing a college is all about weighing the pros and cons. Start with questions like;
- Why did you choose this school?
- What strengths does this school have? What weaknesses do you want the school to improve upon?
- If you could change one thing about your experience here, what would it be?
- How accessible are student resources on campus?
- How accessible are the professors, administrators, financial aid officials, etc?
- What makes this school unique and stand out from other schools? What are you most proud of about the school? What is the school known for?
- How many graduates and undergraduate students are there?
- How diverse is the campus? Are there any disability learning services? What about international students?
- How financially stable is the school?
- What is the orientation process like for freshmen students or transfers? What was your orientation experience?
Ask About Financial Assistance
Knowing if you are able to afford to attend school at a given university is vital to your future because you don’t want to be drowning in debt and student loans for the next twenty years. Ask your guide about these things to get a better idea of your final balance;
31. How much is tuition? What does the sticker price mean?
32. What are the usual costs outside of tuition (i.e. textbooks, meal plans, housing, etc.)
33. Are there any scholarships or grants offered to students? Are there scholarships for a specific program or major? Where can I find all the scholarship applications? How do I apply? Do I even qualify for any of those? What percentage of students qualify for scholarships or grants?
- What is the FAFSA? How do I apply for federal aid? Could I afford this school without scholarships or federal aid?
- What does your average financial aid package look like?
- What does your average merit award look like? What are the requirements to receive a merit scholarship? How do I apply for one if I do qualify?
- Is my financial aid affected if I take longer than four years to graduate?
- How has the annual tuition rate risen or fallen in recent years?
- What is the average amount of loan debt that students accumulate by the time they graduate?
- Does your net price calculator provide an accurate estimate of what your school will cost me and when did you last update the net price calculator?
Learn More About Academics
Academic quality is one of the most important things to ask about because the whole reason you are going to college is to get your education. If you are paying for it, then you should be able to get your money’s worth and know that you are learning the things you need to help you succeed.
- What are the most popular majors? When do students have to declare a major?
- What departments or programs are offered? What makes them special? Is there an honours college? If so, what are the requirements?
- Are the classes taught by professors that collaborate with their students or is it mostly just lecture-style learning? Are there often discussions and group projects or lots of individual reading?
- How big is your typical general education class? What about upper-division and major based class sizes?
- Is it possible to do a double major? What minors are offered?
- What are the academic admissions standards for potential students?
- Is studying abroad an option? If so, do lots of students participate? What about research opportunities in a given field? What departments offer undergraduate or graduate research opportunities?
- What tutoring options are available?
- How easy or difficult is it to register for classes? How is the academic advising process? If you want to transfer, how difficult is it to transfer credit?
- How many hours do students typically spend on homework?
Graduation Rates and Student Success Questions
Do you want to experience all four years of college? Do you want to go to graduate school? It’s important to know what graduation rates at a certain college mean and how that can affect when you graduate.
- What is the average graduation rate? What’s the average GPA?
- How many years does it take to graduate with a bachelor’s degree?
- Are there any fast track programs to help me graduate in less than four years?
- What is the main hindrance to students graduating on time? If I were to go here, how could I avoid that?
- If I double major, will that make it harder for me to graduate? Will it take more time?
- What’s the retention rate for freshmen coming back as sophomores?
- How many students transfer each semester?
- Do you know the main reasons why some students drop out or leave prematurely?
- Is there a master’s or doctorate program here? What percentage of students go on to graduate or professional schools? What majors offer a higher degree?
- What’s the average size of a graduating class in a typical year?
Internships and Job Opportunities
College is the starting line to the rest of your career. You want to be able to get a good job out of college and sometimes, universities offer a gateway to a career that can last you a lifetime. Ask about any of these options and whether or not you could be considered.
- Are there any internships offered? How can I apply for those?
- Are there any on-campus or work-study job opportunities? Where can I find the applications for those? What about summer jobs?
- How active is the alumni network?
- Are career services available for students or alumni? How helpful is it?
- Does this school have a co-op program?
- Do employers recruit students on campus? Are there any programs that feed into the workplace?
- What is the job placement rate? How is that calculated? Are figures self-reported? On average, how many students get a job right after graduation?
- Does my desired major or program of study help with job placement?
- Are there any famous or well-known alumni of the school?
- Where could I find a job around campus, not limited to just on campus?
What is Campus Life Like
It’s important to get a good idea of what your life will be like outside of the classroom. For example, knowing where to hang out on the weekends can help you make new friends and connections faster. Ask yourself what matters to you. What kind of experiences do you want to have? What environment do you want to live in? Then ask your tour guide some of the following:
- What is there to do? What are popular hangout spots? Where are the best places to eat? Where is the nearest grocery store? Are meal plans offered?
- What are the dorms like? Are freshmen required to live on campus? What percentage of students who aren’t freshmen live on campus? How are roommates assigned? Could I room with a friend?
- What are off-campus housing options?
- Are there any fraternities or sorority houses? How can I rush for them if I’m interested?
- What facilities are available (i.e. library, gym, science lab, student centre, counselling centre, theatres, etc.) to students? What benefits are there for students (i.e. gym access, medical visits, mental health care/ therapy, dental or vision care, etc.)?
- Where is your favourite place to study? What is your favourite spot on campus?
- Is it easy to get around campus? What is parking like? Are students able to bring a car? What about bikes, motorcycles, skateboards, scooters, etc.?
- Are there lots of school spirit? Are there sporting or theatre events? What activities are popular? Are there any school-wide activities throughout the year?
- What clubs or service options are available for students to join? How do I sign up?
- Is the campus considered safe? Is there a way I could see the statistics of crime in the area on and around campus? What is the most common crime committed, if any? What safety precautions do other students take that I should take part in as well? How prevalent are drugs, alcohol, or other illegal and addictive substances on campus?
Diversity and Inclusion on Campus
This is more about the character of the students on campus. What kind of people are you going to be surrounding yourself with? Think about how you want to fit in here. Where are there places where you are free to be yourself?
- What is the student body like? Is it diverse? What are the gender ratios? What does the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people look like?
- How are students treating each other? Are there cliques or a popularity pyramid scheme? Is there a high rate of bullying or prejudice against particular groups of students?
- Are students more focused on academics or the social aspects of college?
- How many international students are there?
- Is there a dominant religion among students or a specific affiliation to a sect within the school? If there is, is it something I would enjoy? Will the school’s religious influence make me feel uncomfortable? Is there a place I can practise my own religion if I am not tied to the central faith?
- Are the students friendly? How can I make friends quickly?
- How do I resolve conflict with my roommate(s)? Who would I bring in to mediate the situation? What if I get bullied in my own dorm? Is there a possibility for authoritative intervention if I am not respected in my dorm or on campus as a whole? If things get worse, how would I move out or move forward?
- Is there a possibility for a couple’s counselling for me and my partner should we need it?
- Are service animals an option for students on campus? How do you get clearance for those?
- What about disabled parking, are there special spots?
Questions for Current and Former Students
If you know someone who went to or is going to the school you are looking at, ask them about their experience! How has that affected their life and career?
- How would you describe or rate your college experience? What did you like? What didn’t you like? What would you change? (If they’re alumni, ask them what has changed since they were a student there).
- Do you think this school helped prepare you for your future and your career? How?
- How would you rate the campus itself (i.e. the dorms, the facilities, professors, etc.)
- What advice would you give to anyone considering attending this college or university? What did you wish you knew coming into your first year of college?
- What programs do/ did you participate in? Did you like them? Why or why not?
- Why did you choose to come here?
- How was your experience with other students? Where did you fit in?
- Is the campus easy to navigate? How do I know where I’m going? (Ask current students or recent alumni this question)
- Did you take any internships? Did you do work-study or have a campus job? If so, how did they prepare you for your career and the real world?
- Did you participate in any research opportunities or study abroad programs? If so, how did that affect your education and overall experience?
Of course, there are hundreds of other questions you can come up with before your next college tour, but if you start here, then consider yourself on the road to your freshman year! Your future awaits!
Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.