The 19 Questions you Need to Ask When Visiting a College

By: Caroline Koppelman

You’ve spent countless hours deciding where you might want to go to college, and now you’re finally seeing the campus with your own eyes. This is perhaps the most valuable opportunity you’ll have to really get to know a school—so don’t waste it. Instead of leaving with only the information given to you by your tour-guide—likely a sales pitch about the amazing facilities and trees and five million dollar gym—find some students who aren’t working for the school, and get their opinions. And remember, you already know the best parts of the university. Colleges spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing. So as un-fun as it is, try to also get a sense of the worst qualities of a school: what factors would deter you from going somewhere? 

Here’s a starter list of questions to ask a regular student (read: non tour guide):

  1. What is your major? 
    • Why are you studying that? 
    • What is the worst part of your major?
    • How hard is it to add a class to the major or make substitutes? 
  2. Where do you eat the majority of your meals? 
    • Where did you eat them as a freshman and how did that change as you progressed through the years? 
    • What is the best food on campus? 
    • Do you go off campus to eat? If so, where do you go?
  3. If there is a core curriculum (look this up before you go), how do you feel about it? 
    • What are the best and worst parts of the core? 
  4. Is there a curve at the school? How do you feel about it? 
  5. Why did you choose this school over another school? 
  6. What is the worst part about this school?
  7. What, if anything, would you change? 
  8. What are you doing on a Friday and Saturday night? 
  9. Do people go out during weekdays? If so, what type of person goes out?
  10. What are the parties like?
    • Where do they take place? 
    • Is there Greek life? Is so, how prominent is it? 
    • What is the drinking culture?
  11. Where do you do the majority of your work? 
  12. What is the library scene like? 
  13. Do your professors know your name? 
  14. Do you often go to office hours?
  15. What is the housing process like?  
  16. How do you spend your free time? 
  17. What do you do in the area? 
  18. What is the main benefit of this school’s location? 
  19. What is the worst part about the location?