What Questions to ask During an Open House

questionsDo you have the mom who ALWAYS asks questions on campus tours? I love her! It’s true that you don’t really know about a college campus until you visit it. There are a number of ways you can do this, drive by, walk around on your own, take a tour, spend the night with a friend, attend a sporting event…just to name a few. One GREAT way to see a campus and many of it’s moving pieces is to visit for an Open House. These days are usually long and intense. There will be professors, students, admissions staff, directors of programs, athletics, booths set up by different clubs and organizations, various information sessions to attend and of course, tours of the campus. You can attend an Open House without preparing, just show up and you’ll get a ton of information about the school you’re visiting. However, I suggest you come prepared with questions. Open Houses are a great way for YOU to learn if a school meets YOUR wants and needs. This is your chance to have questions answered from students, professors, specific club members, programs, and admissions. I love getting questions from students. It shows that they are interested in the school and it helps you form a relationship with someone at that school which will be helpful if you decide to attend that school.

So, what do you ask to find out more about the school?

Questions for a current student

1. Does the school offer any programs to help with the transition to college?

2. How’s the food? How is living in the dorm?

3. How did you pick your major?

4. Have you done any internships? How did you get them?

5. What one thing would you change about the school?

Other questions

1. Is there wireless access? Are the study rooms/library open 24-7?

2. Are professors easy to meet with outside of class?

3. Is there tutoring available?

4. What is career services like? Where do most people get jobs?

5. Can you change your major?

6. How is campus safety? Is there a medical facility on campus?

Questions NOT to ask

1. Personal questions to students and/or professors is a no go!

2. Questions about illegal activities i.e. where do freshman get alcohol? Where can I buy a fake ID? Are drugs easy to get on campus? (you would be surprised what I’ve been asked…)


Juniors Starting the College Search

Attention high school juniors!  Now is the time to start your college search process.  Have any of you attended your schools college night event or sit and chat with your guidance counselor about college?  Are you overwhelmed?  There is so much information, so many new terms you’ve never heard of, the fear of the unknown, where do you even begin?  Well, first off – take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for starting this process now.  This is the beginning and you have plenty of time to do your search but where do you start?

Heeeeeeeere we go – Starting the process 101:

  1. Go buy a notebook or binder – as you search schools online or attend college visits (which btw is the best way to see a school) start taking notes.  Separate your notebook/binder into a few pages for University A, University B, and so on.  Take notes on what you like, didn’t like, who you met, contact names of professors and admissions staff, and most importantly take notes on the admissions process including deadlines, tips the admissions staff give you, admissions criteria, etc.
  2. Take your classes seriously!  The better your grades the more options for applying to schools.  Also, admissions staff love to see an upward trend on students transcripts.  If you did poorly in 9th and 10th grade but picked up your grades in 11th grade it can help your chances of getting in (remember, I work in college admissions).
  3. Ask questions – students don’t know what to ask when they visit colleges, go on tour, and talk with admissions counselors.  Go on the Google and type in ‘questions to ask on a college tour’ and then click around on different links, find questions that you really want to know about and ASK them when you visit schools… yes YOU ask them.  Admissions counselors pick up on little things – personally I love when a student comes right up to me and ask’s me a question rather than hiding behind Mom or Dad.  It will be uncomfortable the first few times but find your confidence and ask those questions.

Just a few tips – easy enough, start your search!

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