– Excerpt from The College Board
Browse though these tabs for links to useful resources to plan for your college education.
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Sample questions to ask college admissions officers
- Describe the size and setting of the campus. What are the top five states from which your students come?
- How is your institution unique? What distinguishes it from most other colleges and universities?
- What sort of academic calendar do you use: semesters, trimesters, one course at a time, etc.?
- What are the most popular majors?
- What is the average class size for introductory, general education classes taken by freshmen and sophomores? Overall, what is the undergraduate student-faculty ratio? What is the overall undergraduate average class size?
- How difficult or easy is it for freshmen and sophomores to enroll in courses they want?
- Who typically teaches freshman & sophomore courses – professors, T.A.’s?
- How easy is it to double major? How easy is it to major in one area such as science, and minor in another such as business?
- How writing-intensive is your curriculum?
- How available are faculty members? What are typical office hours? Do they give home numbers?
- Is there much informal student-faculty contact outside of class such as students and faculty having lunch or dinner together or playing sports together?
- Does each student have a personally assigned advisor, or is advising conducted by an “advisement center?” Does the student have an opportunity to select or change his/her advisor?
- Is there an early-alert system at the college whereby first semester students receive feedback about their progress before they receive their final grades?
- What services are offered to students needing help or tutoring?
- Does the college have any special programs or courses for college seniors designed to serve as a “capstone” experience that ties together the students’ university experiences?
- Describe student computing facilities. What is the ratio of campus computers (available for student use) to students?
- What are the ranges of SAT and ACT scores and grade point average of entering freshmen?
- What are the average SAT, ACT and GPA scores?
- What are the deadlines for admission? Do you offer alternatives to regular admission such as early decision, early action, rolling admission? How many applications did you receive last year? What % were admitted?
- What academic preparation do you expect in order to be admitted – which qualities and experiences are you looking for in a student? What kind of student is most successful at your university?
- What sort of student would not be happy at your institution?
- Do you have any pointers on writing essays that your school requires with the application?
- Tell me about your graduation rate. How long does it usually take for full-time students to complete a degree in (specific major) at your college?
- What is the college’s retention rate? What percent of freshmen return for sophomore year? What percentage of students who start at the college actually finish and get their degree?
- What is the cost of attendance? (Cost of attendance includes tuition, books, fees, room, board, transportation, etc.).
- What percent of students receive merit-based scholarships? How much is offered for the largest merit scholarship? What is the average merit-aid given?
- What percent of students receive need-based financial aid and grants?
- For Catholic colleges only: Do you have any special scholarships given to students from Catholic schools?
- Are freshmen guaranteed housing? Is housing guaranteed beyond the freshmen year?
- Are students required to live on campus? What % of students lives on campus?
- What percent of students stay on campus on weekends?
- Describe the variety of housing styles on campus: suites, apartments, etc.
Diversity and internationalism
- How ethnically diverse is the campus? What percent of the student body is composed of international students?
- What are the opportunities for study abroad? Does your institution have some unique programs? What percent of your student body studies abroad?
- Can financial aid and scholarship monies be used to study abroad? If so, for how many semesters?
Service and Internships
- What is the availability of campus work opportunities?
- What volunteer/community service opportunities are available for students at the college?
- What percent of students do internships? How does your college assist students in finding internships?
- What campus security measures do you have? Is an escort service provided to/from the library, for night classes?
- Tell me about the crime statistics on your campus – assault, rape, robbery, car theft, etc. What are the most “typical” incidents of crime?
- What activities on campus are the most popular with students?
- What transportation means are available? Around campus, to closest city, airport etc.
- Is there a campus bus to town (or the local community) and back?
- Which religious services, such as a Catholic Newman Center or a Hillel Center, are available on campus? Are religious denominations available on campus for social and/or counseling purposes?
- Tell me about Greek life on your campus: are there fraternities and sororities? How big a part do they play on campus? Which ones have the highest GPA’s?
Student-athletes who plan to participate in athletics at college may research this at a number of the links below. Note that prospective student-athletes have certain responsibilities to meet to be eligible to participate in athletics in Division I and Division II college programs. Visit NCAA Online and the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse for more info.