7 Thoughtful Questions to Ask an Admissions Counselor

Every year, thousands of admissions counselors from universities across the country travel to connect with interested students. Each admissions counselor has the same goal in mind: to convince these students that their school is the best in an effort to encourage application submissions. I encourage you to attend these sessions, take advantage of the representative’s time and learn meaningful information about the campus. More often than not, this counselor will be the one reviewing your application first. 

Impressing the admissions rep means they’re more likely to remember you when your application crosses their desk this fall. That first impression can be the deciding factor in your admissions decision! Asking relevant, thoughtful questions during your visit is one way to stand out.

Check out 7 thoughtful questions you can ask the admissions rep next time they stop by your school!

Are there different academic requirements for admissions depending on what department or major you choose?

Depending on what major you decide to select, admissions requirements will differ. Asking this question shows your interest in the program. Not only that, but it gives you the information you need to make sure your application is perfect before submission!

What resources are available on campus if I need help with some of the classes I’m taking?

Although colleges have different organizations and resources available, nearly every college in the country has some sort of tutoring center. Most programs are included in your tuition, but some may cost extra to join a tutoring group or receive individual help from an older student who performed exceptionally in the course. Many also have a writing center, where professionals and English major students will help you tweak your paper before submission. Drop-in hours a few times a week for general education or low-level courses are convenient for busy student schedules! Ask the admissions counselor what would be available for you, just in case you find yourself struggling in one of your classes come time for freshman year!

What’s your favorite tradition on campus?

Tying in a tradition on campus accomplishes two things. First, admissions counselors love to see students who are interested in their own stories and experiences about what’s happening at their college. Second, you get to learn about cool traditions on campus! These are things that you would be able to experience if you chose to be a student there. One example of a great tradition I’ve heard about over the years include Barnard’s “Big Sub” where students get to snag a piece of a gigantic 700-ft sub sandwich. Another example would be the “Battle of the Red Dragons” basketball games every year between SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oneonta. 

How does the Residence Life department match students to their roommates freshman year?

Finding a freshman year roommate can be nerve-racking. I’ve heard horror stories from students in the past, but just as many stories about freshman roomies who become lifelong friends. Some colleges have interesting ways of matching roommates, and many of them use some sort of survey for students to complete along with their housing deposit. Some will allow you to pick a roommate if you already know someone, while others do it completely at random. At Trinity College in Connecticut, there is one wonderful woman who makes every single roommate match for freshman every year!

In your opinion, what’s the most interesting or crazy club that your school has?

These days, most colleges have dozens of clubs and organizations. Depending on the size of the campus, that could easily be over a hundred different clubs, all offering different things. Oftentimes, colleges will have interesting clubs that you can investigate. A few of the most interesting clubs I’ve heard of include The Mustache Club at Carleton College, Humans vs. Zombie’s at Goucher College, and the Happiness Club at Northwestern University! You could discover something that peaks your interest and makes this school stand out on your list!

Are internships a requirement for graduation at your school? If not, does the college offer resources and support for finding internships in different fields?

Depending on the school, and sometimes the major you choose, an internship of a certain length may be required. Even if they’re not a requirement, internships are great resume boosters and provide valuable experience in your field of choice. Ask your admissions counselor what kind of resources are available to help you find internships, whether they be on campus, in your school’s city, at home for summer vacation, or even abroad in another country!

Do most students go home for the weekends? If not, what are some fun things to do on or off campus on the weekends?

College admissions counselors should know what students are doing in their free time, especially on weekends! For some colleges, students regularly go home on weekends because many of them do not live far. Other schools have a lot of out-of-state students, meaning there should be activities on and off campus to entertain them. You can cater this question to your own interests if you’d like. For example, if you’re into outdoor activities, you may want to ask if there are any hiking trails, parks, or hidden gems for exploration in town.

Still looking for ways to stand out when speaking to a college admissions counselor? Or maybe you have no idea what colleges you want to apply to this fall? Connect with us at firateducation.com for more information about how you can work with one of our college counselors this summer!