Whether you are applying to graduate or undergraduate programs, as you begin narrowing down your list of top schools, you are going to start picking a short list of schools to visit. As you embark on your campus tours, you are probably going to have a lot of questions that you want to ask. Or you might be so overwhelmed with new information that you won’t know what to ask at all. No matter what your reaction is to the whole experience, there are things you’re going to need to know before you choose a college to attend. Here are five great questions to ask during your college visits.
1. How Many Students are Accepted Into Your Program?
Knowing how many students you will be working with is important because it will make a huge impact on the way that you work. Bigger programs with large student populations usually tend to give students an education that is based on more independent work and development. This can be great for the type of person that likes to work independently, but it will also mean less individual time with your professors. In contrast, smaller programs tend to afford students a lot of time for collaboration with cohorts and feedback from professors.
2. What is the Best Mode of Transport?
You definitely want to make sure you know how you’ll be getting around while you’re in college. For a lot of major universities, freshmen just simply aren’t allowed to drive cars. There’s also a lot of college programs in cities where it’s a lot easier to not have a car. If this is the case, you want to know if you’re permitted to ride a bike on campus, or if you’re expected to get some kind of account that will allow you to commute by bus or train.
3. How Much is the Cost of Living?
Your acceptance letter may let you know how much it will cost to live in the dorms, but not everyone wants to live in the dorms. This is especially the case if you are done with your undergrad degree. If you are earning a competitive graduate degree, like Marylhurst’s masters in sustainability, then you will probably be looking for apartments. In which case, you will want to know how much your monthly rent and utilities costs will be.
4. Are there Work-Study Programs?
A lot of colleges will give you the opportunity to work in exchange for discounted tuition. If this is the case, then you want to know what kinds of jobs will be available to you and how many hours you will be expected to work. If you’re lucky, you might find the type of job that will give you plenty of time to do your required reading and writing while you work.
5. How Available are the Professors?
The availability of your professors will make a big difference in the personal quality of your education. If you find professors that have the time to work with you individually and give you a lot of feedback on your work, then you could progress and develop very quickly. If you don’t, then you will need to have an aptitude for judging and improving upon your own work.