Campus Tour Checklist
You can research college funding (grant, scholarship, and aid), graduation rates, student to professor ratios, tutorial support services, library services, and career placement assistance online or by calling the college or visiting a college’s website.
How you really know you may like a college though, is by visiting the campus! Here is a checklist to go by while you’re scoping it out!
1. College Classrooms
If you want to make it through to graduation, you can expect to spend a lot of time in your college’s classrooms. Inspecting the condition of the classrooms is important. Are the classrooms spacious and technologically advanced? Are they well kept? You may also want to note the size of typical freshman classes. If you will be in a lecture hall – how big is it and how many students typically attend.
2. College Dorm Rooms or Off Campus Housing
If you are planning on living in a dorm room or off campus, it is definitely a priority to check out your future living space. If you want to live on campus-identifying the school with the best dormitory conditions can make living in a dorm room much easier. On your campus visit, ask to see the freshman dorm rooms.
Dorm rooms are simply a place for you to rest your head away from home; therefore you should not expect the same luxury you have at home. Look at the condition of the bathroom and the proximity of to the classrooms and other campus amenities in order to make the best decision. You may also want to consider if there is adequate study space and/or storage space. While you are there, see if you can ask any current student what they like and dislike about the dorms. You may also want to see if your cable, utilities, and Internet are included.
If you choose to live off campus, you may want to look at the distance from campus, apartment condition, apartment cleanliness, safety, and what is included in your rent (utilities, trash, water etc.). Some colleges have listings of student friendly apartments. Ask if there is a campus office or representative that offers a list of nearby apartments or postings for roommates for the upcoming year. Sometimes this can be less costly especially when sharing the expenses with other college students.
3. Parking at the College
Some colleges require you to have a parking pass or have limited parking for incoming freshmen. Ask about their campus parking rules and regulations. A lot of campuses have designated spots for faculty and staff, so make sure you know where students can park. Most colleges require you to register your car with their campus security office, make sure you have the correct documents when arriving.
4. The College Cafeteria
Most likely, some of your meals at college will come from the college’s cafeteria. The average college student eats at the campus cafeteria at least twice a day. Therefore, it is imperative that you check the level of cleanliness, menu, and the quality of the food being served in the cafeteria. Some campuses may have more than one dining hall, so you should be prepared to investigate all of them. Find out the cafeteria’s hours as well.
5. College Medical Clinic
The college of your choice may have a medical clinic with qualified medical professionals who are available during emergency situations. During your tour, find out if they offer medical services and where they are located. Ask about hours and what type of services they offer.
6. College Gym, Hotspots, and Other Attractions
One cannot learn without having fun once in a while. The college you attend should have some hotspots where you can go to release the stress after a difficult exam. That’s why colleges and universities have these attractions. Look for places where you can hang out with your friends to relax. Check out the college gym and find out the hours. The campus may also have a basketball, volleyball, tennis, and racquetball courts – and a pool if you’re lucky. If you are into sports but are not playing on the college’s team, find out if the college has intramural sports. The college may also likely have clubs – you may quickly meet some friends this way when you’re new.
7. Inspect the Surrounding College Town
Inspecting the surrounding college town is also important. Look for useful stores, businesses, and restaurants that may come in handy. Additionally, you should also check for reliable transportation so you can navigate easily throughout the area.
8. Talk to College Students and Staff
Finally, you should seek out current students, faculty, and staff during your campus visit. If you have an opportunity ask them about questions about the college, personal experiences, and whether or not they would recommend the school to you. Someone else’s experience or view can help you make the right decision. To ensure accurate information speak to more than one person.
9. Take Home Literature About the College
We also encourage you to pick up any college literature such as the school paper, club flyers, and the local community newspapers to get a sense of the culture you will be surrounded by.