Questions to Ask on Your College Visit

This list is meant to provide prospective students and parents with ideas for questions to ask during an on-campus visit. Keep in mind that it is important to seek answers from a variety of students and college officials in order to get a well- rounded view of the college.

Ask questions about things that are most important to you- no question is too stupid (but remember to keep them polite). Try to ask the same questions at each school you visit so that you have a point of comparison between the schools.

  • Questions about freshman admissions:
    • What percentage of applicants is admitted?
    • What is the average high school GPA of admitted students?
    • What are the average ACT, and SAT scores?
    • What is the freshman retention rate (the percentage of freshman students who return sophomore year)?
    • What is your four year graduation rate?
    • What is the male/female ratio at the school?
  • Questions about the academic programs:
    • Do you offer ______ major? (the major you’re interested in)
    • What are the college’s most popular majors?
    • How many majors does the school offer?
    • What percent get jobs immediately after graduating?
    • What percent enter graduate school?
    • What is the average class size during the freshman and sophomore years?
    • What special programs are available?  (Co-op, internships, honors, study abroad, undergraduate research, senior thesis, etc.)
    • How much time do students typically spend on homework?
    • Are tutoring programs available?
    • Do you have a writing center available?
    • What type of career services do you have?
  • Questions about housing:
    • How are roommates selected?
    • Is there tripling in double-occupancy rooms?
    • What are the different types of housing offered?
    • Are there single sex or both sex rooms, suites, floors, wings, buildings?
    • Are there bathrooms in each room/suite or common floor bathrooms?
    • How many cafeterias are at the school? What are the other dining options?
  • Questions about financial aid:
    • What is your average financial aid package?
    • What percentage of financial need does the school typically meet?
    • What percentage of students receive college grants?
  • Questions about spiritual life on campus:
    • How frequently do you have chapel? Is chapel mandatory?
    • Do you have campus organizations for spiritual growth?
    • What kinds of service opportunities are available?
    • Where do students attend Sunday services?
  • Questions about social life on campus:
    • How frequently are activities held on campus?
    • What kinds of activities are available?
    • What clubs do you have on campus?
    • How many intramural sports are offered?
    • Do most students stay on campus on the weekends?
    • Do the students have a curfew?
    • Are freshmen allowed to have cars?
    • Are there rules for meeting with students of the opposite sex? (Designated nights for open floors, etc.)
    • Does the school have a dress code?

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. How did the faculty and staff members interact with students? Were they friendly or authoritarian?
  2. Do most of the students seem like you, or are they completely different? Are they the kind of people you could be friends with?
  3. How would you feel about being in a classroom with these students? Sharing a dorm with them?
  4. Did the students try to make you feel at home? Were they helpful in answering your questions? How did they interact with one another?
  5. Does the campus seem like a good size for you?
  6. Are the dorms too quiet? Too noisy? Too crowded? Not enough action?
  7. How large are the dorm rooms? Is there space to study? Have time to yourself?
  8. Does it look like there is much to do outside of classes?
  9. How easy is to get to places off campus? Are there places within walking distance?
  10. Do you feel comfortable and safe?
  11. Is there a supermarket or drugstore nearby?
  12. If you move out of a dorm after freshman year, what are the options in apartment complexes or buildings?

Remember you are visiting the college to find out if it’s a good match for you. The students who are already there may like it, but you have to decide if you will too. So try to envision whether you can actually live and study there for four years. Decide what’s important to you, whether its class size, healthy food, level of academics, an active, vibrant campus, the spiritual atmosphere or attentive professors, and make sure those elements are in place.