When you are on tour with a student ambassador there is an opportunity to get helpful information from a gal or guy who is knowledgeable and primed to communicate. What can you ask that will lend meaningful data?
- How many hours a week do you typically study? When and where do students hit the books? From this interaction you will learn the rigor of the classes and the amount of prep time required. The guide should also be able to give you a clue about studying vs drinking or socializing on the weekends.
- What did you do last weekend? Do most students stay on campus on weekends? What are some typical weekend activities?
- How much time do you spend with your professors outside of class? In what settings? What do you do or talk about? Answers to questions like these are useful for determining the accessibility of the faculty. Having relationships with professors is important for feeling like a member of the academic community and for academic success. On some campuses there are student/faculty flag football games or faculty open their homes to students.
- What groups hold the most social events? Are they open to all students or only to members? What is there to do for non-drinking students? Ask these questions to see how important Greeks, jocks, community service and other organizations are.
- What are the options for buying books or securing course materials? Are readings posted on Moodle or Blackboard? You probably want to spend the least amount possible on books, so take this opportunity to find out what the choices are.
Before you begin touring colleges, make a list of questions that you can use to compare them. You might find out about professors by asking the tour guide’s favorite or who the best profs are in the English department. To learn about courses ask questions about the most quirky course on campus or the most difficult ones.
Its important to use questions and answers from others to spark more ideas so pay attention to the entire conversation during your walk. Creating a profile of each college is up to you so make the best use of your access to current students to get the information you need.
For a free guide to comparing colleges, send an email to email@example.com.