College Counseling & Planning      Orleans, MA. (774) 801-2449      Ashland, OR. (541) 488-0919
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--Nora Knox, mother of Madison, University of Oregon, Clark Honors College, 2015

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MAKING THE MOST OUT OF A COLLEGE VISIT

MAKING THE MOST OUT OF A COLLEGE VISITLast week I talked about the importance of the campus visit when researching colleges. For students and their families who are doing just a "drive-by" visit and for those who are further along in the search here are a few tips. The following by no means exhausts the lists of questions to be asked and observations to be made, but it is a start.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
1. Look the campus over, being mindful of the general appearance. Are the old buildings in good repair? Is there new construction? How are the grounds maintained?
2. What is the area around the school like? How is the public transportation?
3. Are the residence facilities appealing? Adequate number? Well lit? Where located? Safety features (fire escapes, limited entry)? Are there a variety of residential choices? Laundry and kitchen facilities?
4. Is there guaranteed housing for freshmen? Where do upperclassmen live?
5. What is the cafeteria like? Where is it located? What are the hours? Are there a variety of eating choices with hours that appeal to students? What do the students say about the food?
6. Inspect the computer facilities. Are there an adequate number and what are the hours of access? How up to date?
7. Inspect the labs and equipment. How accessible? How modern? How plentiful?
8. Visit the library. How large? What are the hours? Any quiet study areas? Does it participate in any inter-campus programs with other colleges?
9. How wired is the campus? Are the dorm rooms wired?
10. How well staffed is the Career Center ? What is the placement record for jobs and/or graduate school in your chosen field?

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK:
1. Do students get to take the courses they want? How accommodating are the administration and professors?
2. Do the students go home on weekends, leaving the campus deserted?
3. How do students spend leisure time? Is there any leisure time?!
4. Will you be intellectually challenged? Is tutoring readily available?
5. Why do students leave the school for another school? Why do they stay?
6. What regulations are there for the students? Cars? Alcohol? Off campus living?
7. How accessible are the athletic and recreational facilities for non-intercollegiate athletics?
8. Do undergraduates get a chance to work with seasoned professors? If so, how?
9. Are performing arts opportunities available to non-majors?
10. What is the average financial aid package freshman year? For remaining school years?
11. Is crime (petty or otherwise) a problem? If concerned, ask to see a local (not just the school report) police report.
12. How accessible are the faculty? How do they get to know their students?
13. What are the strongest majors? Most popular majors?
14. Is the campus clinic well staffed and equipped?

Judith Christie
College Planning Consultants