Questions to Ask During College Visits

Madeleine Karydes
Madeleine Karydes

Madeleine attended UC Berkeley and double-majored in English and Media Studies. She is now an integral part of the Empowerly team.

Whether or not you’re able to do an in-person college visit or a virtual college visit, there’s a lot to learn. Are you confused about which questions to ask during college visits? Together, let’s learn about the questions you should (and should not) ask the various individuals you will encounter during your tour.

In this video, one of our Empowerly team members walks you through the basics.

For my verbal learners, here’s a quick recap of the suggestions you can revisit!

Checklist of questions you should not ask on your “tour”:

  • Any questions you can answer for yourself with very simple research (we mean very simple)
  • Any questions about your campus guide’s individual, personal statistics or application journey (be respectful)

Checklist of questions you should ask:

  • Anything about academics, classes, and resources questions that you can’t easily find online!
For example:
  • How many hours a week does the average student spend outside of class on homework per unit?
  • What’s the ratio of classes taught by GSI’s/TA’s versus professors?
  • Lectures or hands-on teaching style?
  • Do students pursue research, internships? If so, how can I do the same?
  • What resources are there for students who need extra help (on studying, health, etc)?

For students and campus inhabitants:

Including, the most important of all the questions you to ask during college visits, virtual or in-person: “How’s the food?”

In addition, we’d like to remind you to also follow up on your specific interests and curiosities. If you’re going to be pursuing one specific extracurricular, see what you can learn about the students in the community. If you want to know what facilities the campus will have for hands-on engagement with your subjects when it’s safe to attend in person again, ask for pictures or a video tour! You deserve to figure out what to be excited for in your college experience.

Looking for a few quick tips for virtual college tours?

This article walks you through a strong foundation on the virtual visit, and how to approach it.

Preview: “Top universities are canceling admitted students days left and right, including Harvard, Columbia, UCSB, Vanderbilt, U-Mich, CalTech and who knows how many more to follow. This is definitely an unideal situation, courtesy of COVID-19… but with a little ingenuity, we can get through this! Here’s our advice for how to not get stuck in a rut of disappointment, accept that this is our reality and still make an informed admissions decision.”

This handy review provides a tangible list of steps you can work your way through to ensure you find the right college fit for you or your student.

Preview: “When you’re making your college list, you should start by deciding what exactly you want out of your college experience. Do you want a big school or a small one? Private or public? How important are athletics? What do you plan on studying? Do you want to be close to home?

Write down all these criteria and make a chart. Then start looking at what schools align with your priorities. This will really help you get a stronger sense of what you want—and what schools have those elements.”

For more guidance, visit Empowerly. We’re here to help.

Questions? Let us know!