8 Cardinal Questions to Ask on Your College Campus Tours

It’s perfectly normal to get the jitters if you’re embarking on your first of many college campus tours. It’s a lot to take in, and you’re in the process of making some big decisions that will help you shape your future.

Whether you’re visiting before you submit applications or after you’ve been accepted, part of campus tours is listening and observing. However, if you’re not asking questions on your college visit, too, you’re likely missing out on some vital information. Here is a quick list of questions you may want to ask during your upcoming college campus tour!

Here are some questions to ask on your campus tours

Flickr user churl

8 Questions to ask on Campus Tours

1. What’s the Transition Process Like?

Going from high school to college is a huge transition, even if you’ve taken a gap year. You don’t want to feel like you’ve been thrown to the wolves and you need to figure everything out all by yourself. You’re already stepping up to tackle bigger challenges—make sure you know how the transition process works and what systems the college has in place for the first years.

Schools often have entire programs set up for incoming first-year college students including orientation, introductory classes, and more. You may even be asked to move onto campus a week before other students so you can get better acquainted with the school and other students.

2. What is it Like to Live Here?

If you’re planning to live on campus, ask specifically about how the living situation works. Do people have enough space? How are the dorms split? Are there suites? Are private rooms available for an extra fee? Is it generally clean and quiet?

A fun one to ask the tour guide, too, is, “Which dorm building do you think is the best?” If you happen to ask a few tour guides at the same time, a likely argument will break out and you’ll be able to hear all the pros and cons of each!

But if you’re planning to relocate to an apartment near the campus, ask questions about the general area. Your tour guide likely knows the city well.

3. How Safe is This Campus?

Campus safety is very important. You’ll want to ask about both physical safety and cyber safety. For physical safety, ask about their police presence on campus, safety protocols (such as blue lights), and even crime statistics from the surrounding area. When it comes to cyber security, you’ll want to know how the college handles their tech so you can stay protected if you decide to attend.

4. How Are Recent Grads Doing?

It’s a fact: some students from some colleges will do better than others. This is something statistics can show you, but you can also ask your tour guide and others on the campus tour their thoughts. Do they personally know anyone who has succeeded after graduation?

You can also request more information about career assistance, such as the career center, and how that helps students.

5. Are There Work Opportunities on Campus?

Some campuses offer more work opportunities than others. If you plan to work on campus, it helps to get a good idea of what the wages and arrangements are like. If you can’t make them work for you, you might want to look for another way to work your way through school. You might want to supplement campus work with another part-time job, and you’ll need to get started on that process as soon as you can.

Many schools, though, participate in the work-study program which you may be offered if you’re eligible. You’ll definitely want to ask about that in particular if you think you’ll qualify! You can also ask about the local businesses and communities to get a feel for how they treat their employees.

6. What is the Most Surprising Thing You Learned About This College?

This is a very personal question and likely one your tour guide will put a positive spin on. That doesn’t mean they’re lying, but you may have to ask another student this particular question – one that isn’t on a tour. They will give you a more realistic answer that isn’t dictated by the (paid for) tour guide. You’ll want to ask this one a few times to get enough data!

7. Where Do I Go If I Need Help or Resources?

Is it easy to get tutoring services on campus? Who do I talk to if I’m having a serious problem? What if I’m having a medical problem? Or dealing with anxiety? What if something gets mixed up with my schedule? 

These are questions you want to know the answers to before you find yourself in that situation. Figure out how the college staff or other students are there to support you on your educational voyage. Many colleges offer their students access to college advisors, tutoring and study groups, mental health services, career tools, and more.

8. How Are The Facilities?

From the cafeteria to the gym, this question covers a lot. But your tour guide should be able to give you a detailed description of each of the different facilities on campus. You’ll want to generally know about the accessibility of the gym, what the gym offers, how the food is (and which cafeteria has the best food), the quality of the library, the layout of the buildings, the classrooms, and more.

Ask Questions That Matter To You, Too!

These are only some of the questions you can ask your tour guide, college representatives, and people and students on campus. It’s important that on your campus tours, you should be developing questions of your own because what matters to you as a student may not fit under these general options! If you want to know about allergens, what you can do in town, majors, financial aid packages, professors, campus life, or something else, this is your time to ask!

Asking the questions that are important to you is a surefire way to get the much-needed information to make a decision on college. Try writing down a list of everything you want to cover before you take your tour!

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