Visiting universities, searching their websites, and meeting faculty, staff, and students are all very important steps in the college decision process. When proceeding with these steps, it is important for prospective students and their families to optimize the time they have on each campus.
One way to do that, is to ask questions to help make the decision easier! Here are 5 questions that each student should ask as they go through the big college decision process:

 1.      How many students participate in internships and how do they find them? Internships, clinical hours, practicum, and any other type of experiential learning are very important. Not only does this give students experience to put on their resume, but it also gives them a sense of the career they will thrive in. Having support in finding these internships, whether that be from faculty or career services is also good to know.

2.      How involved are the faculty and what are class structures like? If students have a specific major in mind, it is important to understand the structure of that department. Professor involvement will ensure that students have the opportunity to build relationships with them and find mentorship within those relationships. Class structures are also important to note so students can grasp what types of classes they will be experiencing. Are they discussion based, more lecture style, or a mix of both?

3.      What percentage of students live on campus? This will determine a couple different things, such as what campus life is like throughout the week and weekend and if it is just underclassman that live on campus or all grade levels. These things can change the campus environment as well as the feel of the surrounding community.

4.       What is your favorite thing about the university? If you are able to ask this to a student, it will show why they chose the university. Professional staff will have a different view of campus and why they enjoy being employed there. Either view of the question is a great way to understand strengths of the university that are hard to determine in any other way.

5.      What kinds of clubs and organizations are popular on campus? Clubs and organizations play a big part in campus environments. Popular clubs and organizations show what the students enjoy doing in their free time. They also typically represent values that stand strong at the university, anything from service, to academic, to athletic, to faith-based. Something else to note is if these clubs and organizations give students the opportunities for leadership on campus. If students are able to get involved with their preferred organizations their first year, it could turn into great leadership opportunities when they are upperclassmen and give them a strong sense of community.