College is supposed to be your home away from home. It is where some of the most influential things that will affect your life going forward will take place. The perfect college may already be in mind and that is okay.
However, before going anyway or becoming dead set at one college or another, you should, if possible, tour the campus. The experience you will get on an in-person campus visit or tour will be decidedly different from an online one. For one, there are actual people who you can interact with in order to gain some insider information about the college you are visiting.
Here are some topics you should ask about during your college visits so that you will not be blindsided later.
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Not just how much you room and board will be, (although that is important to make sure you have that figure) but how much does it cost to live in the area? Will a temporarily broke and stressed out college student be able to break even and not break the bank while attending that college?
Even though class is your priority (or at least it should be), that is not what you will be doing 24/7. What about going to the movies or going out to eat once in a while? How about shopping for clothes or groceries? People often forget that costs like these also factor into their spending budget.
Depending on the location, state to state and city to suburb, these costs can differ. The most important thing is to make sure there is a good network of services in the area that are college student friendly.
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Even if they aren’t, how is the job market in the area? You may need to pick up a side hustle to pay for some things.
How nice are the dorms? What kind of living and bathroom situation are you dealing with? Asking about this is a good idea and, if you can, go up to the dorms are see for yourself. Make sure you specifically check out the dormitory you will be staying in. Can you see yourself possibly living there for the next four years or more? How is the campus itself? Do you see a spot or two where on a nice day, you could hang outside and study? Is the mess hall or cafeteria a place where you could sit and chow down? Remember, this is going to be your home away from home, so you should be comfortable.
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Living on campus is supposed to make your life easier. How close is the nearest grocery store or mall? Every time you need laundry done, are you going to have to go back home or drag your laundry basket all the way to the nearest laundromat? Just make sure that mostly everything you need in order to operate smoothly on a day to day bases is readily at your leisure.
This is probably the most important thing to ask about. None of the other criteria will matter much if the crime rates in or around your campus are through the roof. Ask around campus, how safe does everyone feel? Are there any red flags that you see when you visit? How much of a police presence, or lack thereof, is there around campus? How serious are the campus police when dealing with reports?
Ask officials and administrators and staff as well as any students you can get to talk to you. Your safety a priority, the campus that you are visiting does not make you feel that way, then you may have to part ways.
After asking everyone else questions, it will be time to ask yourself some. Do you like it? Are you happy with what you have seen? Of course, no campus can be perfect, but there is a perfect one for your out there. Do not make any choices lightly. Think it over and then make your decision. You will be fine! Go out there are explore some college campuses. They’re waiting!