Picking The Right College: 17 Questions Every Student Should Ask

When you are going through the college search process, there are a lot of things you will need to consider when deciding what school is truly best for you.

Each of you has different interests, strengths, needs, requirements and levels of financial support. When you are picking your ideal school it is important to identify what things are most important to you.

After you make a list of what is important to you, make sure that you look into each of them at every school you are considering before making your final decision.

Thanks to a genuine college admissions counselor, here are a few examples of questions that you should definitely consider asking before you make your final decision.

Your admissions counselor would be a great person to ask because they will be the one guiding you through the admissions process. If they do not have the answer to one of your questions they should be able to point you in the right direction.

  • What are the admission requirements and standard admission process/timeline? What are my chances for acceptance and what can I do to help that? Will it help to send letters of recommendation and/or retake the ACT/SAT?
  • What opportunities are there available for scholarship and financial aid? What is the financial aid timeline and are there any deadlines?  Will my financial aid package stay the same each year? Does tuition increase from year to year or stay the same?
  • What type of visit opportunities there are? Overnight stays? Everyday visits? Weekends? Visit programs? Can I sit in on a class? Meet with a professor and/or coach?
  • Who teaches the courses? Professors? Teaching assistants? How much interaction do students have with professors? How big are the classes?
  • Are there advisors or other resources available to help students in scheduling classes and deciding/changing majors?
  • What academic calendar is the school on? Semesters? Trimesters? Quarters? How many classes do I have to take at once to graduate on time? How long the terms and breaks, and when are they?
  • What types of internship and research opportunities are there? Are students required to do internships? What does the college do to support internships and research?
  • What is the relationship between the college and community?
  • What are the safety concerns? How safe is the community? What safety measures are in place?
  • Where do students live their first year? Second year? Last year? Graduate students? What type of housing options are there? Double rooms? Suites? Apartments?
  • Where do students eat? What meal plan options are there? What if I am vegetarian or have a specific health concern?
  • What is it like on the weekends? What activities are there outside of class?
  • What kind of values or beliefs does the college have? Religious? Non-religious? Are there any rules related to these beliefs? What are the opportunities and student organizations to support these beliefs? Do most students share the same beliefs/values?
  • What are the college’s plans for the future?  Is the college currently planning to build any new facilities or renovate buildings? What is the college working on right now?
  • How eco friendly is the college? Do they have options for recycling? Do they compost?
  • What are some clubs or on campus groups that are available for students to join? Am I able to start up my own club or interest group?
  • What are the honors societies on campus?

After you have the answers to the questions that are most important to you, it will be much easier to make your decision. Hopefully, it also means that you will be more satisfied with your decision in the end.

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Amber Bray

Amber Bray

Amber Bray is a senior at North Central College studying journalism and graphic design. Apart from her classes Amber writes a relationship advice column, along with other pieces, for the North Central Chronicle. She also writes and designs for North Central’s online magazine, The Viewfinder. Amber is a trivia fanatic and in her free time she enjoys board games, reading and writing fiction, and spending time with friends and family.