Tips for Checking Out an Honors College During a Campus Visit
By Kate Gehlen | Last Updated: Jul 15, 2022
Joining an honors college comes with its perks. Being part of a tight-knit community within a large university is just one of them. When touring potential honors colleges, the feeling should be the same: personalized, intimate, and collaborative. Read up on our tips for checking out an honors college during a campus visit.
Honors Colleges — Some Basic Information
Years of studying and hard work during high school should come with its reward. That’s where an honors college comes in. The benefits of earning a spot includes an abundance of benefits, including priority registration, academic and study abroad scholarships, top-tier professors, and more.
USF Honors College Shares Tips on Making the Most of a Campus Visit
Now that you’ve narrowed down your top choices, it’s time to see it in person. Meeting honors college staff, faculty and students will give you a broader perspective of what it has to offer.
Before punching in the address into your GPS, read up on the topics below to maximize the benefits of a visit to the USF Honors College.
What You Should Know Before You Go
- USF Honors College is a very intimate environment. We value inclusiveness and collaboration.
- An Honors College tour is separate from a university tour. Our guides may not know the exact answer to specific questions about other departments or the university as a whole.
- We love questions and interactive tours. Please don’t hesitate to chime in or ask whatever is on your mind. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll be sure to get you the right answer in an email.
What You Should Ask When You Go
- Ask about the Honors College living-learning community and ways students can get involved. We want to paint you a picture of what life will be like at USF and in the Honors College.
- Ask about special academic programs and extracurricular or Honors-only programs.
- Ask about the difference between programs, experiences, and opportunities that are required or optional parts of the curriculum as well as those that are offered solely for fun and enrichment. For example, the Honors College at USF offers inter-break trips to locations such as St. Augustine, New Orleans, and Asheville, N.C., for hiking, learning local history, and spending quality time with friends, faculty, and advisors.
- Ask the tour guide what the experience as an Honors student has been like if you want to know more than what the guide shares. We love to talk about our experiences but want to be respectful of your time.
- Ask about Honors courses and how they differ from high school honors classes such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate offerings. Also ask how they differ from other university courses. Ask how many Honors courses typically are taken in a semester, what the workload is like, and examples of assignments.
- Ask about different types of scholarships or funding beyond the traditional tuition scholarships. Is there funding for study abroad, travel for conferences, or other incentives?
What You Should Look for While You’re There
- Look for the interaction among students, faculty, and staff. Notice how it is a collaborative environment where we wish to help one another succeed.
- Look for the intimacy the Honors College provides.
- Look at the walls to find evidence of student research, travel, and activities.
What You Should Do While You’re There
- Try to do a campus tour during the early part of your visit so you can get a feel for the whole university.
- Grab lunch or a snack at the Marshall Student Center and interact with students. The bookstore cafe also is a fun place to people-watch and shop.
- You can’t ask too many questions.
- If you want us to help you plan your day, just ask.
What You Should Think About
- Think about how this environment is different from or similar to your high school experience.
- Consider how the uniqueness of this environment in relation to the university as a whole could affect your academic success and personal growth.
- Think about the opportunities the Honors College can provide.
- Picture yourself here. Would you be happy for the next four years?
If you have more questions about the USF Honors College, just reach out. Contact information is available online, or call 813-974-3087.
For general enrollment questions, the USF Office of Admissions is ready with advice and answers. Contact us online, or reach us by phone at 813-974-3350.
About Kate Gehlen
Kate Gehlen is a graduate of USF's Honors College. She was involved in many different areas of student affairs, serving as an Orientation Leader, representing the Alumni Association as a USF Ambassador, being a leader in her sorority and the USF Panhellenic Sorority Community, and working with the Honors College as an admissions intern.