Holly McDonald
June 28, 2024
min read

Best Questions to Ask a College Admissions Counselor

Written by
Holly McDonald
Baylor University

Academic Questions

The primary reason you attend a university is to earn a degree to further your education. Academic-related questions can hold a lot of weight with a counselor who can discuss majors, minors, and more. Rather than ask surface-level questions such as “Does this school offer a journalism major?” rephrase your questions to dig deeper; “What are unique opportunities for students who are journalism majors? How many students have declared this major and what are potential classes I can take?” From transitioning from that first question (a yes or no answer) to the second question that offers a deeper response, you can pull more information in your meeting. In addition, try to avoid questions you can easily search online. This is your chance to ask specific questions that are distinctive to you! Some guiding questions about academics include:- What is the average class size?- What can you tell me about a ____ major? What are the classes offered? Do people often pair this with a certain minor?- What are the most common majors at this school?- How accessible are the professors at this university?- How many credit hours does my program require to graduate? How many hours per semester would keep me on track to graduate on time?- How do transfer/AP credits apply?

Campus Questions

Another driving factor in deciding which college you want to attend is campus life. Consider what size university you want, what the dining hall options are like, campus safety, how many people you live within a dorm, and other aspects that are relevant to the campus. Campus life questions include:- How many undergraduate students attend this university?- How many dining halls are available for students?- What are the dorms like and how do students select their rooms + roommates?- Is the campus walkable or do students use transportation to get across campus?- Can I have a car during my freshman year?- What safety and security measures are set in place to ensure a safe campus?- Is there a clinic on campus for students to visit if they are sick? Does your university offer a counseling center or mental health resources?- (If you are from out of state) How do students get to the airport?

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Financial Aid and Scholarship Questions

If the price of attending a university and scholarship opportunities are important to you, your meeting with an admissions counselor is a perfect time to discuss baseline questions on this topic. They are likely knowledgeable on how financial aid works, scholarships from their university, and tools to help you afford their college. If your admissions counselor does not provide satisfactory responses, consult your university’s office of financial aid with more direct questions. Financial aid and scholarship questions include: - What kinds of scholarships does your university offer?- Do I have to maintain a certain GPA to keep my scholarship?- What percent of students receive scholarships and/or financial aid?- What jobs are available for students to work on campus?

Application Questions

If you meet with the counselor before you’ve finished your application, you can use this time to discuss questions relating to the application process. - Does your school have rolling admissions?- When should early action students expect to hear back? What about regular decision applicants?- Do you require letters of recommendation?- What is the average SAT/ACT score of accepted students?- How much does it cost to apply?- What are common mistakes students make on the application?- Are there specific academic-related requirements based on what program I am applying to?

Student Life Questions

Getting involved in college means something different for everyone. Some may want to participate in intramurals, Greek life, or other clubs. Some may want to work a job such as being a tour guide. Whatever way you want to get involved, ask your admissions counselor what this could look like for you.- What are some clubs and organizations offered?- Do students have to pay for tickets to sporting events or is the price included with tuition? - Are there opportunities to participate in Greek life?- What intramurals can I participate in?- What traditions take place on campus?- Is there a gym available on campus for students?- What kind of study abroad programs are offered?- What makes your university special?

Concluding Tips

Utilize your time with your admissions counselor to get to know the university. If possible, lean away from questions that you can quickly search before or after the meeting. Instead, ask about the clubs, organizations, majors, and other aspects that will be specific to your time while attending the school.

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