As you begin the college search process, you will need to gather various information about each school you are interested in. Choosing a college is often not an easy process as you must evaluate each school on several criteria. As you research each college, you can find information on websites or from talking to current students and alumni. Nonetheless, one of the best ways to get to know a college and learn what they can do for you is to contact a college admissions counselor with a list of questions to ask college admissions.
When you contact a college admissions counselor, whether, through email, a phone call, or video, you should have a list of questions ready to ask. However, with so much to learn, it can be difficult to limit your question list to those most important to your college search.
If you need help curating this list, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will find the 10 top questions to ask college admissions counselors when conducting your college search. We list these questions below, along with a short description of what kind of information you’re looking for with each question. Finally, at the end of the article, we will briefly discuss the best ways to contact college admissions counselors to ask your questions.
10 Questions to Ask College Admissions
1. What is the total cost of attending your school?
One of the most important things to consider when attending college is the cost involved. The price of a college degree includes tuition and housing, travel, food, textbooks, and other fees. When asking about costs, make sure to get information on what’s available for housing and meal plans and the cost of living in the area around the college.
2. What financial aid options are available to me?
To get the best answer to this question, you should provide specific information about your financial situation. Colleges typically have various financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. College admissions counselors should also be able to help you seek state-level or federal aid as well as outside scholarships. You won’t be able to get an exact quote on financial aid until you receive your college admissions letter, but a counselor should be able to give you a general idea about what kind of aid you can expect from their school.
3. What subjects can I major or minor in?
Though you will take courses in a variety of subjects in college, it is still vital to ensure that your school of choice offers the degree that you need to fulfill your professional goals. It’s okay if you don’t know for sure what you want to major in, but you should have a general idea of what subjects you find the most interesting or valuable. Make sure that the college offers a major or minor in these subjects.
4. How well-known are the faculty in my major?
You should also ask specific questions about the faculty that teach in your major. Are they well-known for cutting-edge research? Will you be working with experts in your field who have connections that can help you once you graduate? Your professors can serve not only as lecturers but also mentors and advocates.
5. What is the average class size in my major?
That being said, you want to make sure your professors will be available for you in the classroom as well! Large class sizes make it harder to form a personal connection with professors and seek help if you need it. If class sizes do run large at your school, find out how many TAs are assigned to sections and if they help sessions outside of class. Who knows, you might be able to work as a TA too later on in your college career!
6. How are the job prospects for alumni in my major?
You want to be sure that your degree from a college will take you places. Ask about alumni in your major and what they end up doing after graduation. You can also ask the college admissions counselor to get you in touch with alumni so you can ask more specific questions about how the college helped them in their career or other professional goals.
7. How can your institution help me find a job after graduation?
Finding a job after college is hard. As such, you want to attend an institution that cares about what happens to its students after graduation. Ask if there’s a career development office on campus and whether they’re willing to work one-on-one with students. You can also ask about job shadow and internship opportunities. Even if you’re planning to seek higher education after graduation, your undergraduate institution should be ready and willing to help you out with your post-graduation plans.
8. What can you tell me about the town/city surrounding the college?
Most colleges are located in or near a town or city. You will probably shop, explore, eat, and even reside in this community. So, you want to make sure that it’s a location that you feel comfortable in. Ask about what amenities the surrounding area offers college students and how well the local community integrates with the college. You will probably prefer neighbors that interact well with you and tolerate living in a “college town.”
9. What is the top reason that students choose your college?
This question gives the college admissions counselor you’re talking with a chance to share any other excellent information about their college that wasn’t covered in your questions above. If the top reason matches one of the criteria you care about when choosing a school, then you’ll know it’s a good fit, and you’ll be among like-minded classmates. If not, then maybe it’s time to look somewhere else.
10. What do you need from me when I apply?
If you decide to apply to the college, then you need to know what to do! Find out what materials you need to include in your application, including letters of recommendation, test scores, essays, transcripts, etc. If the application costs money to fill out and send in, see if there’s any financial assistance available to cover the cost. Finally, find out if there are any other things you can do to get a leg up on other applicants, such as attend an interview or apply for an early decision.
The Best Ways to Communicate with College Admissions
Now that you know what questions to ask, you need to know where to ask them! Below, we list the top 4 ways to communicate with college admissions officers. Though meeting in-person is always a good idea, it may not be possible due to the pandemic and/or travel restrictions. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to ask college admissions counselors the questions you need to know.
Email is a popular method for communicating with college admissions counselors. You can email a counselor at any time to introduce yourself and start asking questions. College admissions counselors are there to help you and will be very willing to answer your emails. However, emails can get lost in a busy inbox. If you don’t hear back after a week or so, don’t be afraid to send a follow-up email or choose a more personal contact method.
You can also call college admissions offices to ask questions. This way, you can have a more personal conversation than over email and ask any follow-up questions straight away. However, admissions officers probably have less time to answer a lot of questions over the phone. It is best to schedule a phone call ahead of time, so you know a counselor will be available and have the time to choose your top questions that time allows.
What’s even more personal than a phone call? A video call! Video calls also let you read body language and gestures to receive the most information while also best expressly your unique character. Of course, video calls need to be scheduled ahead of time, so you may need to email or call the office in the first place to even get a video call. The college’s website might also have a form or calendar online that lets you schedule video calls, so be sure to explore the office of admissions’ page to find out how you can schedule a call or otherwise contact the office.
Don’t want to go through the hassle of scheduling a call? Then why not send a video email? Video email is a great new way to send emails that stand out with personalized videos. Video emails are more likely to be opened than regular emails. You can also better demonstrate your personality and articulate your questions over video. Video email is the best way to start a new conversation and introduce yourself to a college admissions counselor.
The easiest way to send video emails is through a video messaging platform like Covideo. With Covideo, you can create videos and embed them directly into the body of your email or text message. Better yet, your email’s recipient can reply with a video email even if they don’t have a Covideo account. Find out if the admissions office of the college you’re interested in is using Covideo. If so, then request a video email introduction from them so you can, in turn, reply with a video of your own. If not, then you can encourage them to try out Covideo today with a 7-day free trial. The future of college admissions lies in video email; encourage your future institution to get with the times and upgrade their email service today.