“Do you have any questions for me?” can be an intimidating inquiry, regardless of the situation you are in. It can be especially intimidating when you are speaking to a tour guide or admission counselor at a college or university that you are hoping to be admitted into.
As a former tour guide and a present day admission counselor, I have come to realize that there are absolutely zero dumb questions. I have been questioned by families and prospective students alike, from things as simple as, “What is an undergraduate?” to “What are the financial aid opportunities available at your institution?”
Every piece of information relevant to your decision making process is important, so do not ever hesitate to ask about things that you need to know in order to make an informed decision! If you are unsure of where to start or what to ask, I hope this blog post will serve as a resource for you as you embark on the journey of achieving a higher education!
Below, I’ve outlined a few common questions I’ve received, some that I’ve asked, and some that I would encourage you to ask!
What are you looking for during the application evaluation process?
By asking this question, you can learn about whether the university takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications, what the academic performance of students is like, and what the expectations are for students at that institution.
What happens if I decide to change my major/I don’t know what I want to study?
The pressure is on for young people everywhere to have some idea of what they want to do as an adult—it’s okay not to know right now! Upwards of 70% of college students change their major at least one time. When deciding which institution you may want to apply to or attend, it is important to know their individual policies on how you can change a major, add a major, and when you’ll need to make a decision on what you want to study.
How can I get involved/what is there to do outside of attending class?
Knowing what types of fun, social, and service opportunities are available at an institution (and its surrounding area) can make or break your decision! What is the community like, and how can you get involved in it?
Protip: Tour guides and alumni are excellent resources for any and all student life related questions!
Can you explain how financial aid works at your institution?
Every school has vastly different approaches to handling financial aid. Some institutions offer merit scholarship, others do not, some accept the CSS profile, some do not. Knowing how an institution of interest handles financial aid can really help you discover if it will be a reasonable investment and a good financial fit for you in particular.
What do I need to do to apply?
Like financial aid, many institutions have different application requirements. Some schools are test optional, some require a supplemental essay in lieu of test scores, and so on. Getting to know what is needed to apply ahead of time will help you avoid phone calls and emails from the admission office about your missing materials!
If you are ever faced with the dreaded, “Do you have any questions for me?” while visiting colleges and universities over the next few months, now you have something to fall back on!
Asking questions during a visit sets you apart from other students. Being inquisitive shows that you are proactive, interested in the college or university, and confident!
The answer to each of these questions will vary greatly between the institutions you visit, so be sure to take notes to look back on when you are getting ready to submit your applications.
– Monica Miller, Admissions Counselor