Ideally, the best time to visit a college you’re interested in is during the semester when classes are in session. If students are on campus, you can get a better feel for what the school is going to be like for you. Walking around with other college students or talking to alumni can be a great experience to ask questions and discover if the school is a good fit for you.
In every college visit and search process, connecting with current students is an often over-looked and under-utilized resource. After all, you’re going to be them, so who better to have a conversation with? Administration and campus tour guides are trying to sell the school to you, so they’re only really going to give glowing reviews, but you can expect a more honest answer out of a more typical student.
Most students will likely be more than happy to answer a few of your must-ask questions for a prospective student—providing they aren’t racing across campus to get to their next class. So while you’re visiting, be sure to strike up a conversation with a current student with these helpful questions:
Questions to Ask Current Students
- Why did you pick to attend this college?
- What was your freshman experience like?
- Do you feel there’s a good support / transition program for freshman students?
- What is your favorite thing about this college? Least favorite?
- Where is your favorite study place on campus?
- Favorite place to eat?
- What are you studying here?
- If you could change one thing about this college, what would it be?
- Are the career fairs good here?
- What are the financial aid opportunities like?
- What sort of campus events does the school put on?
- Any advice for incoming freshman?
- How approachable are the staff/faculty/administration?
- How would you describe the community atmosphere?
- What clubs or extracurricular activities to you recommend?
- Did anything surprise you when you became a student? Like costs or rules?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it can hopefully get a conversation going and answer a few questions along the way. If you’re interested in being a student at that particular college, some of the best people you can talk to are the other students themselves.
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