When it comes to the college admissions process, it’s essential to gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision. One great resource for gathering information is the college admissions counselor. These professionals can provide valuable insight into the school and its application process. However, it’s important to ask the right questions to get the most out of your meeting with them. In this article, we’ll discuss some insightful questions to ask a college admissions counselor.
Why You Should Ask Questions to College Admissions Counselors
Asking questions to college admissions counselors is important because it can help you gather valuable information about the college or university you’re considering attending. This information can help you make an informed decision about where to apply and ultimately enroll.
Don’t be shy! This is your chance to get as much information as possible. And, many times, you’ll ask the question(s) that others are thinking but may be too nervous to ask.
Also, admissions officers LOVE it when students and families are engaged in their presentations and ask questions. Trust me on this one—and keep these questions for admissions counselors in your back pocket.
What to Expect from a College Admissions Counselor Meeting
In a meeting with a college admissions counselor, you can expect to learn about the school’s academic programs, student life, campus culture, financial aid, and more. This information can help you understand whether the school is a good fit for your needs and goals.
It’s generally best to schedule an appointment with a college admissions counselor in advance to ensure that you can meet with them and have their undivided attention. However, some schools may offer walk-in hours or virtual meetings that you can attend without an appointment.
To prepare for a meeting with a college admissions counselor, research the school ahead of time and think about what questions you want to ask. You should also have a clear idea of your own academic interests and goals.
What are the Best Questions to Ask College Admissions Counselors?
- How easy is it to double major?
- What percentage of students graduates in 4 years? What percentage of double majors graduates in 4 years?
- Do students apply to the school, or to a particular major?
- When do students need to declare a major?
- Do you require an audition as part of the admissions process if you want to be a theater or music major?
- Can supporting documents be sent to the admissions office if an applicant wishes to highlight a particular artistic talent such as theater, music, dance or another art form? Are these documents used in the application review?
- Do all majors have the chance to have internships and are they a common part of the educational experience?
- Is there support to help students find an internship?
- When do students typically start using the career center?
- Can you tell me about the services the career center offers?
- Do students study abroad? Does your college or university have a study abroad program
- Can students study abroad on another school’s program?
- How easy is it to fit a study abroad program in and still graduate in 4 years?
- How accessible are professors? What are some examples of professor/student interactions outside of the classroom?
- How large are the largest classes? How small are the smallest classes? What is the average class size?
- What are some examples of clubs and activities available to students?
- Do students attend sporting events, theater events, and social events on campus?
- Are there academic support services on campus such as tutoring and writing centers?
- How does the school assist students with career planning and job placement?
How Can Your Student Impress an Admissions Officer? Email Them.
Email an admissions officer when you have a legitimate question that you can’t find the answer to on the college website.
If your student is asking a genuine and interesting question, their email can also serve as a form of demonstrated interest for the college, which is an increasingly important factor in college admissions decisions.
When your student writes their email, they should:
- Write in their own voice but don’t be too casual. This isn’t the time for your student to use texting shortcuts. Your student wants to come across as polished and polite, even in written form.
- Keep the content of the email specific to the school. Students shouldn’t use it as a way to promote their academics or extracurricular activities.
- Don’t ask questions that can easily be answered on the college website. Instead, ask questions that will actually give you a greater understanding of whether or not a given school is the right fit for you.
- Don’t pester the admissions officer with too many unnecessary emails and questions.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Sending an email with typos and grammatical errors could leave a poor impression on the admissions officer receiving the email.
Keep Track of Who You Meet on College Visits
After each information session, get the business card of the college admissions counselor who gave your information session as well as the name and contact information of the admissions representative who will work with your application so that you can be in touch with them.
Also get the name and contact person in the department of your intended major if you know what you want to study so that you can ask questions during the application process.
Questions to Ask Your College Tour Guide or Current Students
Here are some questions to ask your tour guide or students you meet on college campuses.
- What are you studying?
- Can you tell me some ways that your professors have made the classroom experience exciting? Examples include guest lecturers, field trips, hands-on learning.
- Have you had an internship? Do you plan on having one or more? Are they easy to get?
- Do you interact with your professors?
- What is the social life like on campus?
- What do students usually do on weekends?
- How would you describe the student body?
- What are the Residence Halls like?
- Can students live on campus for 4 years? Can they live off campus?
- Can students have cars on campus?
- How is the food?
- Why did you choose this school?
- Are you happy here?
You may find that you like to ask just one or two of these questions at each school or you may want to ask all of them. It’s up to you.
Finally, after you visit each school, take two minutes to write down three things you liked and three things you didn’t like (or liked less) about each school.
Also, make a note of one or two buildings that really stood out on each campus and why.
For example, St. Lawrence University has a really cool, brightly colored library with tiny cubicles and bean bags that the students can use to study. I still remember this from my tour 25 years ago!
If you mark down a distinguishing characteristic for each school, it will help you remember the schools better.
I hope your college visits and conversations with college admission counselors go well. Keep in mind that this is your journey. Enjoy it and learn from it!
If you’re doing college tours with your child, check out Making The Most Of Your College Visit for additional advice.
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