College Choice Questions
Consider these college choice questions when deciding between schools.
By Roxana Hadad
You found it! The college of your dreams looks perfect … in the catalog. But you can’t find all the answers about your school in brochures. Contacting the school and asking the right questions will give you a better idea if this is the college for you.
Academics and Life After College
Your college should help you reach your goals in class and in a career. Make sure your school is going to take you where you want to go.
- Does this college offer the major that interests you? How strong is this school’s program?
- If you are interested in a career that requires professional certification, does your school offer the appropriate training? Is the program accredited? How many students enrolled in the program pass the certification exam?
- How easy is it to change majors?
- Will your AP/previous college credits transfer?
- What is the average number of students in each class? Will you get enough contact/attention from your teachers?
- What is the retention rate (how many students come back after their freshman year)?
- What percentage of the students graduate in four years?
- How easy is it to get the courses you want at the times that are convenient for you?
- What kind of career planning services are available?
- What does the school do to help graduates find jobs?
- Does the school provide free job placement services?
- What percentage of graduates find jobs? What percentage of graduates find jobs in the field they studied for?
- What percentage of students successfully apply to graduate school?
Housing and Resources
The classroom isn’t the only important part of college. Find out if the campus offers you the lifestyle you want.
- Where do freshmen/sophomores/juniors/seniors live?
- How much does housing cost? Is it easy to get on-campus housing? How hard is it to find housing off-campus?
- What kind of meal plan is offered in the dorms? Do they provide menus for special diets (vegetarian, kosher, ethnic)?
- How accessible are laundry facilities?
- How many computers/computer labs are there? Are they up-to-date?
- What is the quality of the library and research facilities?
- What kind of health facilities and services does the college offer?
Paying for college can be tough. Find out what the school can offer you financially.
- How much does the program cost? What does that include?
- Are payment plans available?
- What kind of financial aid does the school offer?
- How easy is it to find a job on campus? Are there work-study programs?
- What kind of refund can you get if you have to drop out?
Your campus will be your social world for the next four years. Make sure this is a place where you enjoy hanging out.
- What percentage of the students are male/female?
- How diverse is the campus?
- What percentage of the students are commuters?
- What do students do for fun?
- What student organizations are active on campus?
- What percentage of the students are in fraternities or sororities?
- What kind of recreational facilities are there?
- What varsity and intramural sports are on campus?
- What kind of transportation is available on campus?
- What kind of transportation is available to go home or to other cities?
- How safe is the campus? What are the crime statistics of the campus and the surrounding neighborhoods?
Don’t be shy about asking questions — and look for answers in more than one place. University staff and administration can answer your questions about policies and resources, while students and alumni will let you know what college life is like on a day-to-day basis. So ask away and make the right college choice.