Originally Posted: Nov 28, 2017
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2020
For those of you who don’t know, college admission counselors and representatives are some of the most helpful people in the college process. Admission counselors read applications and have one-on-one conversations with applicants about those applications. They are the people who have their emails up on admission websites and the ones you should email when you first become interested in a college in order to get a foot in the door. College admission representatives are the regional representatives who go out and visit schools in their respective areas of the country. You’ll probably meet them at your school’s college fair or at any events their college holds in your region. They read admission applications, but only the ones from their designated region of the country.
There are a lot of questions that come up in the college admission process—in fact, you probably have a lot of questions already. But there are certain questions you should definitely admission counselors and representatives. Below are the top questions you should be asking these individuals at colleges you’re interested in.
Questions for admission representatives
Admission representatives have a little more of a professional eye-on-the-prize view when it comes to admission, but that means they can give you real insight into how the college builds their enrollment with all the right students.
- What classes should I take junior and senior year? Some colleges simply require four years of math or a foreign language. College admission representatives are the people best equipped to tell you what classes you need to take in order to get that big, fat admission envelope in the mail at the end of the year.
- Do students from my region have a difficult time adjusting? This question is especially relevant for out-of-state schools. If you have an admission representative for Indiana representing a school in New York, they’ve probably become pretty familiar with how their applicants and eventual students end up doing at their institution. If you ask this question, you’ll at least know some key items to pack for college in that state.
- What are the top 10 states represented at your institution? College admission representatives will most likely know this, especially if the region they represent has made its way to those top 10. This information will help you get a better picture of who you will eventually be going to school with should you choose to attend their institution.
- What made you want to work for this college? This question not only serves as a fun icebreaker for you, but it can help you get a few more inside appealing facts about their school. This is a good question to ask when you see them in person visiting your school for an info session.
- What distinguishes this college from others? If you are seeking something special in a school, asking this question to someone who works there can help you dig deeper. This is another good question to ask in person during a longer conversation.
Questions for admission counselors
Admission counselors are a little different in that they’re going to be able to give you all the information you want to know about college academics and student life. These are the top things you’ll want to ask them.
- What was the most popular event on campus last year? 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 piquing your interest already.
- 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.
- Can you tell me a bit about the majors I’m interested in? 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.
Questions for either a counselor or representative
While admission counselors and representatives fill slightly different roles, one huge thing they have in common is wanting to make sure they’re getting the right fit students to their school. Here are the types of questions any of them will be able to answer.
- Can you tell me what a typical student at your school looks like? 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. On the other hand, college admission representatives know exactly what kind of student from your area comes to their institution because often they were a part of the decision. They can also offer you a profile of the average admitted student so you can see how your GPA, test scores, and other criteria line up.
- Do you think this school would be a good fit for me? College admission counselors and representatives 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 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 and representatives get this question all the time, so they’ll know how to answer it for you (and hopefully ease your mind a bit).
You’ll likely come up with many more questions of your own as you go through the college search process—because this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. But these questions should get you started on the right path to finding the best college for you and to building a rapport with the right people to get you in to that school. Good luck in your search!
Check out more valuable advice from counselors and other college experts by searching for "Ask the Experts."