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February 24th, 2020

Great College Visit Questions (Part One: Student Life)

“Boots on the ground” was one of the best pieces of advice I heard while my oldest child and I were beginning the college process.College visits - Boots on the ground!

I looked blankly at the woman who said it to me. “Go on some college visits,” she repeated.

Ahhhh. That made sense! I promptly started scheduling college visits to my daughter’s prospective campuses. This is also an important way to show interest in a college to Admissions. Learn more about demonstrated interest as it can be an important factor in boosting a college application. Another perk: some schools will waive the application fee if you make a registered college visit to the campus.

Your teen can learn a lot about a school’s culture by walking around the campus, talking to students, and asking questions. Of course, which questions to ask will depend on what’s important to your student. My main question probably isn’t the one you might expect: I wanted to know where students hung out. Fortunately, my daughter has always done well academically, and I can reasonably hope that to continue in college. However, studying is generally done alone. I wanted to know where my daughter, a social creature, could find new friends and have fun. Don’t worry, I also asked where students like to study!

Some other questions we asked on our college visit about student life:

  • Do most students stay on campus on the weekend?

  • What’s your favorite thing about (insert university name)?

  • Is there anything fun to do off-campus?

  • How’s the Wi-Fi?

Our college visit questions will probably be different from your questions. Make sure you visit the school’s website and check out the FAQ. It’s a great place to start your list! Then think about what is essential to your teen’s happiness? A great gym? Make sure you visit the athletic center while you’re on campus. Find out what it offers and when it’s open. Is your teen particular about food? Ask your tour guide where to find the best food on campus. And the best latte… Is your teen a sports fan? Do tons of students attend games? Or is school spirit kind of meh?

As we continue to navigate the college process, I’m glad my daughter put boots on the ground at some of her prospective schools, so at least she had the answer to these crucial questions: how does the campus feel? Can she see herself as a student there for the next four years? If that answer is yes, then we can probably figure out the rest of it…and so can you. To get you started on this process, check out US News College Search to compare information from 1900 colleges!

As always, Test Preps is available to help with your SAT and ACT preparation needs.

Stay tuned for Great College Visit Questions (Part Two: Academics).

*Thank you to my bff Amanda for sharing her experiences as she navigates the college process with her own teens in this series of guest posts!

 

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