What Questions Should You Ask Admissions Officers When Applying to University?
- Student Tips
Make a good first impression
When it comes to applying to and getting a spot at university, first impressions are key. Admissions officers will meet with thousands of applicants over the course of the admissions season, so you’re going to want to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is to make sure you create a great first impression. Being prepared for your interview or meeting with well-thought out questions will help you make a lasting impact.
There are some basic questions you should consider asking when you finally get some face-to-face time. This will help you understand the university culture, as well as make sure it’s going to be a good fit for you. Some of these questions could include:
- What’s the average class size at the university?
- What type of financial aid does the university offer, and who can qualify for it? Does the school offer scholarships, or guidance on how to apply for those?
- What’s the graduation and retention rate?
- What sort of educational support services are available?
- What are the employability rates for graduates?
- What do other students love about the school?
After you’ve gotten some of these questions out of the way, it will help open the door for more in-depth questions you can ask. Remember, these are the questions you are going to demonstrate your interest in the university, as well as your understanding of the school. It should show you have done your research into the institution, as well as the programs you’re considering. Not only are you trying to prove that you’re going to be a good fit for the university, you also want to make sure that the university will be the right choice for you.
- What’s life like on campus? What sort of clubs, organizations, and activities are available? What’s it like to live on campus, or to be a commuter student? Which do students seem to prefer?
- How do students balance their academic, social, and personal life? Are faculty and staff supportive and understanding?
- When it comes to classes, who is teaching them? Do professors hold regular office hours so students can connect with them? Are there research opportunities available for undergraduate students? Are there any on campus support services like tutoring centers or writing centers?
- What kind of internships are available? Are there any services on campus to help students access internships, or research opportunities? Do students participate in study abroad experiences? Does the work students do in classes prepare them to pursue further education, such as master's or PhD degrees?
- When not in class, how do students at the university spend their free time? Where’s the best local hang out spot, restaurant, and coffee shop? What’s the local community like, and what’s available in the next nearest city or town? Do students stay on campus for the weekend, or go home? Is it safe to walk around campus and the city at night?
Students who are applying to more specialized programs, such as business school, law school, or medical school should spend some time thinking about cultivating questions specific to those degree programs, as well as including questions about academics and culture.
Before meeting with an admissions counselor you should think about what you need to know to not only make a great impression, but also to be sure the institution is the right fit for you. Take some time to think about thoughtful, insightful questions that will help you get the right amount of information you need, as well as ensure you stick in the admission officers’ minds when it comes time to send out those acceptance letters.
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Chelsea is a Student Affairs expatriate, who now works as a freelance writer and editor. She homesteads in a small town in rural Maine, USA. She enjoys hiking, fishing, cooking, reading, all things Laura Ingalls Wilder, spending time with her family, and chasing her black lab puppy, Cash.
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