Image: Scenes from around campus

Questions to ask on a college tour

30 March 2011

The Classroom Experience

  • Are all majors available to transfer students? Is it difficult for transfer students to switch from one major to another?
  • What are the most popular majors for transfer students? Does the school allow students to develop or customize their own major?
  • What is the school’s philosophy about undergraduate education? How is teaching valued and supported?
  • What is the average size of a lower-division course? An upper-division course?
  • What kinds of specific academic opportunities are available to undergraduates? For example, could a transfer student study abroad or participate in research alongside faculty?
  • How do faculty feel about transfer students? Are they considered an important part of the campus community?
  • Are classes taught by regular faculty or teaching assistants? Are faculty generally available to meet with students to answer their questions?
  • Are new majors or programs being developed? Will they be available to transfer students?
  • Who is responsible for providing academic advising for transfer students? Is it handled by faculty members or professional academic counselors?
  • Where do I find out how courses at my community college apply toward specific majors at your school?
  • When are most classes scheduled? Does your institution offer evening, weekend, and online courses?

The Students

  • How long do students take to graduate after transferring to your campus? Do most of your transfer students come from community colleges or other 4-year schools?
  • What is the ratio of first-time students to transfer students?
  • How diverse is your campus in terms of academic major, gender, ethnicity, religion, and socio-economic status?
  • What kind of support programs are in place to assist students from diverse backgrounds?
  • What is the faculty-to-student ratio?
  • Do your students make an effort to balance academics with social and co-curricular activities?
  • What do students do for fun? What do they do in their free time? Between classes? On weekends?

Campus Life

  • How much effort does this school put into helping transfer students network with other students and faculty?
  • What are the popular ways for transfer students to become more engaged on campus?
  • Are there special clubs or special housing for transfer students?
  • Do campus fraternities and sororities pledge transfer students?
  • How safe is the campus? Where can I get a copy of the college’s annual security report?
  • Is there a strong student government on campus? Do transfer students participate in student government?
  • Are there particular social or cultural events that the institution is known for?

Campus Facilities

Library

  • What kind of philosophy drives your library? Is it student-centered?
  • Is it easy for students to find books in the library? Are the librarians willing to assist students with their searches or is it more a do-it-yourself kind of culture?
  • Are students allowed to study in the library around the clock?
  • Can students eat in the library?
  • Are there private rooms available for students to reserve?

Housing

  • Where is the Housing Center?
  • How many transfer students live on campus? Off campus?
  • Does the school help transfer students to find roommates for off campus housing?
  • Does the college reserve housing especially for transfer students? If so, what kind of housing is available? If housing is not reserved, how difficult is it to get into on-campus housing?

Activities and Recreational Facilities

  • Does the campus have a Transfer Student Center where students can hang out?
  • An office for commuter students? A place to rest or take a nap?
  • Are child care services available? Is there is a waiting list, how long is it?
  • What kinds of recreational facilities are available?
  • Does the campus sponsor intramural sports league or other athletically related activities?

Health, Counseling, Special Student Services, and Other Services

  • Does the institution offer health insurance? Where do I get more information on coverage?
  • If I have my own health insurance, can I opt out of the school’s insurance?
  • Is there an office¬† for services to students with disabilities? Is this office adequate for the demand?
  • Does the school have a career center? Describe if and how alumni networks are developed to help undergraduates with job placement.
  • What kinds of career counseling services are available?
  • How does the school provide mental health counseling? Does the school health insurance policy cover referrals to outside professionals?
  • Are there job shadowing programs?
  • Is there a program here that can match me with a mentor?
  • Is there a center that is dedicated to supporting U.S. veterans? If so, how closely does it work with other government agencies?

Filed under: Student Tool Kit

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