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Fiske’s List of Things to Notice on Campus

Information adapted from Fiske Guide to Getting Into the Right College.

The excitement of a campus visit and the barrage of information you'll receive may make it difficult to see everything you need to see. To help you focus during your visit, Edward Fiske has put together a list of things you should notice and what those things may mean.

Buildings in disrepair could be a signal of financial problems—one good place to check out: the bathrooms.

New construction could be a sign of financial health and a statement of the college’s plan for the future.

Seating in the dining hall is a good indication of social relationships on campus. Are students sitting at the same tables as faculty members? Mixed genders and ethnicities?

Computers: How up-to-date are the computer labs? How is access to them controlled? Are all dorm rooms wireless or wired for the Internet?

Classroom sizes: A large number of lecture halls suggests big classes. A lot of seminar rooms suggests a more personal approach.

Bulletin boards are the single best authority on what students care about. Also check out any fliers that students are handing out.