College Tour

College Corner



Timing the Visit


When to visit

  • Spring of junior year
  • Summer before senior year is a good time because the admissions staff has time to talk to you
  • Fall is a poor time. The admissions staff is overextended and limited amount of time is available.

Questions Families Must Ask

  • Is guaranteed housing available and, if so, for how long?
  • How many students graduate in four years, five years?
  • What percentage of students return after their first year?
    • This should be 70% or higher or
    • § the school is accepting weak students
    • § students are misled in admissions
  • Athletes: How many players graduate? In how many years? What was the average GPA for my sport?
  • What percentage of courses are taught by professors? Graduate assistants?
  • What types of tutoring programs are available?(Does the school help me or am I on my own?)
  • What is the process for changing majors? When must a decision be made in order to graduate in four years? Can missing courses be taken in summer school?
  • Is career counseling available? What does it entail? Talk to the career placement office.
  • Which companies/organizations came to recruit students last year? What percentage of students are placed in full-time jobs in their desired area within x months after graduation?
  • What kinds of job-placement services are available (resume assistance, interview preparation, job fairs. etc.)?
  • What are your Graduates average MCAT,/LSAT/GMAT/GRE scores?
  • What graduate schools do they attend? What percentage are accepted to their first-choice graduate school?
  • Ask for a list of recent graduates in your- field who would be willing to talk with you.
  • What are the campus crime statistics? What kind of security systems are in place (escort services, security systems in dorms, emergency phones, police patrol, etc.)?
  • What is the impact of fraternities and sororities on campus? What percentage of students are involved? When is rush?


Take Your Own Tour — Talk to Present Students

  • “Man on the Street” endorsements – ask present students about student life
  • Remember – keep these student endorsements in perspective. Get a representative sampling.
  • Questions:
    • What is the impact of fraternities and sororities on campus?
    • What is dorm life like? Student interaction, activities, safety, etc. (Always ask for a quiet dorm)
    • What was your typical freshman class like? Size, faculty interaction?
    • How well do you know your professors? How accessible have they been for “extra help”?
    • How would you characterize the quality of teaching? The caliber of your fellow students?
    • What factors influenced your decision to attend? Would you make the same selection again? Why?
    • How was college life different than you expected?
    • What are the school’s greatest strengths/weaknesses?

It’s a good idea to visit the campus officially and unofficially. Officially to get the “tour” from admissions and unofficially to talk to students. Weekends are a good time to see what campus life is really like. Does everyone go home for the weekend and the campus has that abandoned look? Does the campus look like it was a “rough night” on Sunday morning?