College Tours and Visits: Questions to Ask a College Representative
Questions to Ask a College Representative: Part Two
This post features David Girvan, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Northeastern University located in Boston, MA. As a university that receives over 50,000 undergraduate applications each year, it is important for prospective students to do their research! Find out everything you can about the schools you will potentially be applying to. Take a look at David's succinct answers that are to the point and will help you to step out of your comfort zone on tours. Key take-a-way? Don't focus on dorm life, it's typically all pretty similar in the freshman year, but make your questions personal! Get to really know the school you want to apply to!
In your experience, what are some helpful questions that prospective students should be asking when they visit a college campus?
The questions should feel personal to what students find most important in their college search. If it is a particular type of feel on a campus, clubs and organizations, or they are particularly concerned with financial aid or scholarships, studens shouldn’t feel afraid to ask the important questions before they leave a visit.
Are there different questions students should be asking at a college fair versus a high school visit?
High school visit questions should be much more specific (majors, program offered, scholarships) as opposed to college fairs, where counselors have much more limited time to interact and there might be a line behind the student. College fair questions should avoid the “checklist” fill out forms (GPA, test score minimums, most popular majors), trying to find out stats which they can find online.
Do the questions a student asks an admissions counselor make a difference in the potential to be accepted?
In my experience, they have not swayed any decision for an acceptance or denial if we are talking strictly questions. I will say that if a student asks questions and starts to build a rapport with a counselor that can be beneficial and could make a difference in schools that take demonstrated interest into account.
To date, what has been your favorite question(s) that you have been asked?!
Questions that relate to how the student will grow personal and professional, separate from the academics an institution offers. The questions that go beyond the sort of “what will I get from this school” mentality, to a more how will I be challenged at this school.
What has been your least favorite question, or one that you feel doesn't really serve the student?
Don't focus too much on residence life and dorms. Almost every college campus has similar residence life and a dorm should not make-or-break your college choice. While I understand the needs of student are important, the desire for the perfect dorm can reroute a student’s question to something that is often interchangeable between most colleges and doesn’t form an opportunity for the student to learn something new about a school or something specific to the ideal fit. With that in mind, students should not be focusing too much on where they are going to live.
What advice do you have for prospective students and their families?
Narrow down your list before applying and every school is different in their admissions processes. It can be stressful and a lot to juggle, but take the time to care about the type of school you want. This matters more than racking up acceptances from schools you don't want to attend or getting denied from schools without taking the time to determine if it you are a good fit.