Essential College Assessment Questions


As you conduct your college search online, in person, and in books, keep these questions in mind as you determine the fit and feel of a school, as well as how it can best serve your educational and career goals. 


  • What is the nature of the surrounding environment (urban, suburban, rural, etc.), and is it to your liking?
  • What is the size of the school’s campus, both in terms of acreage (an important consideration if your classes and/or dorm are far apart!) and number of students, and is it to your liking?
  • Is the weather during the academic year to your liking?
  • Are there accessible internship and other career opportunities, recreational opportunities, and amenities like grocery stores in the area?
  • Can you live off campus if you want to, or if living on campus is important to you, is housing available?


  • Does the school have the major(s) you’re considering, or if you’re undecided, do they have a variety of majors you’re interested in exploring?
  • Does the school have an honors college?
  • How will the school help you determine and achieve your academic goals?
  • How many students graduate “on time,” in four years?
  • What is the average class size for introductory courses? For advanced courses?
  • What are the professors in your programs like? What are they known for, and what have they accomplished?
  • What kinds of internship and student-faculty research opportunities are there?
  • What kind of accreditation does the program hold? How is it regarded in the field?
  • Does the school offer a writing center or other tutoring programs?
  • What is the student-faculty ratio?

Career services

  • How will the school help you determine and achieve your career goals?
  • What is their postgraduate job placement rate like?
  • What does the career services office offer?  
  • What kinds of internships have students held and how did they find those opportunities?

Extracurriculars and social life

  • How do students spend their free time on campus and off?
  • What kinds of fun things are available to students through the school and in the community?
  • From sports teams to musical groups to volunteer organizations: can you get or stay involved with activities that are important to you?
  • Are there clubs or organizations that pertain to your major or field of study?
  • Can students start their own clubs, and what is the process for doing so?


  • What percentage of students receives financial aid, and how much on average?
  • What percentage of students graduates with debt, and how much on average?
  • Are there scholarships available to students (awarded by academic achievement, through college departments, etc.)?
  • Are there work-study opportunities?

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