As many families plan or make visits to colleges (either virtually or in-person), we suggest taking the time to consider some of the not-so-obvious questions regarding admissions, financial aid, and life on campus. Statistics around admit rates, figures for the cost of attendance, and the number of clubs are easily come by. Let’s think about some of the information that is of value but not necessarily offered outright in information sessions and campus tours. And, of course, you should not feel shy about asking questions that pertain to your special interests or needs during your visit!
Questions to Ask When Visiting Admissions
- Test optional is now common at most institutions. But it is worth asking what percentage of students use test optional, and has admissions seen any trends in acceptance rates for students who use this option versus those who choose to submit scores?
- Is an honors program offered and how are students admitted? Do students need test scores to be admitted? And can students be admitted in their sophomore year of college?
- What were the biggest challenges with Covid and how did the administration solve them?
- Are test scores required for merit aid and scholarships?
- Does the college review all students for merit aid or must families complete a FAFSA for merit aid review?
- How would I change my major after declaring it or being in a specific school within the university?
Questions to Ask When on the Tour (or in speaking with students on a panel)
- What did students experience on (and off) campus during Covid?
- How did professors handle office hours during Covid? Did you get to know your professors during this time?
- How many times have you seen your advisor, and how easy is it to get an appointment?
- Is your resident advisor on your dorm floor responsive to you?
- Have you visited the writing center or the math lab? How easy is it to get an appointment?
- Have there been any issues with supply chain issues in the dining halls (i.e. not enough food!) in the last 18 months?
Of course, we want you to find the interesting and attractive features of any school that you and your family are visiting, so consider your current and potential interests and try to be the most educated shopper you can be during your visits!