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What to Think About When Choosing a School

What to think about when choosing a college/university:

Social life and campus activities
Campus facilities
  • Housing and dining
  • Activity centers and athletic and recreational facilities
  • Health, career counseling, special student services and security
  • Library
The community off campus

What is there to do in town? How would I get there?

Academics and faculty

Source: College Counseling Sourcebook; The College Board

  • How would you characterize the majority of students?
  • From what economic background are the majority of students?
  • Are there clubs, activities or housing that are minority related?
  • What do students like most about the college? Like least?
  • Has the student government made any real contributions to the school? How do you get into student government?
  • What political, social or academic issues concerned students last year? How did the administration react? What was the resolution?
  • What do students do for fun?
  • What is the role of fraternities and sororities on campus? If I didn’t want to join, could I have a satisfactory social life?
  • What are the dominant social groups on campus? Do the groups get along with one another? Have there been any problems?
  • What role do team sports play in the social life of the college? What happens on football or basketball weekends? If I didn’t want to join in, would I find kindred spirits?
  • Is there a good balance of academics, social life and extracurricular activities?
  • What were the social or cultural highlights last year?
  • What is the role of the campus newspaper?
  • Is there an alcohol problem and, if so, how is the college handling it? What is the incidence of binge drinking? Do students feel safe on campus?
  • Is there something I should know about housing that would help me in my choice?
  • What are the types of food plans? All you can eat? Vegetarian? Kosher?
  • What kinds of facilities does the student center have? Is it a magnet for student activities? Are there other hangouts?
  • Do you think the college pays attention to its appearance?
  • How would you rate the fitness center?
  • Is there a doctor, nurse, psychologist or career counselor on campus? What is the waiting period for appointments?
  • Is the office for special services adequate to the demand?
  • How good is the security on campus?
  • What have been students’ experiences with the library? Have there been complaints?
  • Is the library well equipped with computers and copy machines?
  • What is distinctive about education here? What is the educational philosophy of the college? Has it changed much in recent years?
  • Is the honor code working? How widespread is cheating?
  • What is the most popular major on campus? Why?
  • Do you think that students are generally enthusiastic about their classes? Do people talk about their courses outside of class?
  • How would you characterize the academic pressure and workload?
  • Are there research possibilities with the faculty? In what areas?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the advising system?
  • What is the quality of students and faculty relationships? Is the faculty interested in accessible to students after class? Do faculty members participate in student activities?
  • Are curriculum changes in the works? How will that affect my college years?
  • Are there any departments being cut back or discontinued? Is so, why?
  • Are there any new programs scheduled for the next four years?