Nov   2017



Top Questions to Ask College Admission Counselors

Freelance Writer
Last Updated: May 19, 2020

For those of you who don’t know, college admission counselors are some of the most helpful people in the college process. (They’re a little different from college admission representatives, which you can read about here.) Admission counselors are angels sent from the collegiate gods to help families and students with the admission process as a whole at their respective institutions. These people read applications and have one-on-one conversations with applicants about those applications. They are the people who have their e-mails up on admission websites and the ones you should e-mail when you first become interested in a college in order to get a foot in the door. Below you’ll find some handy questions to ask your college admission counselor while you go through the whole college search and application process with them.

Here is what I want out of my college experience. Do you think this school would be a good fit for me?

College admission counselors know the school inside and out, so they’re the people to go to when it comes to school-specific questions. They also read thousands of applications per year, so they’re experts at knowing who thrives at their school and who might have a better experience elsewhere.

What was the most popular event on campus last year? Philanthropy event? Cultural/artistic event?

Asking questions like this can help you add specifics to your supplemental essay for this school. People who read applications love to see specific events at the college peaking your interest already.

Describe a typical [insert school name here] student.

Because college admission counselors know best who to give the golden ticket to, they also most likely know what the typical student walking around campus looks like. If the population mostly consists of frat stars or bookworms (or a mix of both), these counselors will let you know the truth.

What is the most popular major?

Often the most popular major at a school is also one of the best programs the school has to offer. Make sure to ask your college admission counselor this question for the most up-to-date answer.

How do I apply for non-need-based financial aid?

Ask this early on, as having to deal with financial aid questions at orientation doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. Having someone walk you through this process can help a lot, especially if you’re doing it on your own.

Here are a few majors I am considering. Can you tell me a bit about each one here?

Depending on the school, the programs they offer and what they entail can vary. Be sure to find out the details about each one to ensure you would like your major of choice at this specific school.

What are the most popular clubs on campus?

Get a feel for what students are into (and add another detail to your essay) by asking what the most popular clubs on campus are. For so many college students, their club (be it a capella or Voices for Planned Parenthood) makes their college experience memorable and worthwhile between all the classes, so if this school has a niche club everyone with your interests joins, you probably want to know about it before making a decision on admission.

What are my chances of getting in?

Ah, yes, the big burning question of your fate. Although this might seem like a daunting question to ask someone who has helped make so many admission decisions, college admission counselors get this question all the time, so they’ll know how to answer it for you (and hopefully ease your mind a bit).

Check out more valuable advice from counselors and other college experts by searching for "Ask the Experts."

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About Phoebe Bain

Phoebe is a student at the College of William & Mary. She's an avid writer, reader, runner, ukulele player, and user of the passive voice. Her favorite show is How I Met Your Mother, and she loves how giraffes look when they sleep.


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