Ask 4 Questions About College Resources

Both students and parents can glean important information about school offerings.

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Most college selection advice suggests asking a lot of questions—but sometimes it's hard to know what questions to ask. Here are some suggestions for questions to pose to the recruitment and admissions officers about college resources:

JULIE:

1. How will you help my child adjust to college? College is a time for students to transition from living at home to being out on their own. Especially in the early years, the school itself can and should play a part in helping students adjust to that change.

Resources should range from simple services like roommate matches to more vital assistance, like depression help and alcohol awareness. The people you talk to should be well aware of the existence of these resources or should offer to readily find out.

2. What specifically does your career center do to help students find jobs? While it may seem a lifetime away, in just four short years, your student will be probably be getting ready to launch out on his or her own. An active and vibrant career center is a must for doing that, especially in a down economy.

Ask for specifics about the kinds of resources the center offers students, and have them put their results into numbers you can analyze and use to compare to other schools.

[Read more about the importance of a college career center.]

LINDSEY:

The search for the perfect college can be very overwhelming, especially as it starts to get down to the wire. By the spring of my senior year, I just wanted to know where I was going to school so I could start thinking about things like housing, the honors program, and additional scholarships.

It's important, however, not to rush through any part of the college decision process. Here are some of the questions every student should ask:

1. What sets your college apart from others like it? Now that I'm at the University of Kansas and have worked with the Admissions Department here, I know that the directors of admission spend a lot of time determining what is special about their school, and how they can market that to prospective students.

Ask admissions officers about what a school has to offer based on its size, location, or type of town. A large school may have resources that a small school doesn't, such as school-sponsored study abroad programs or research opportunities. A school with an urban campus may have more internship and networking opportunities than a school in a college town. Resources like these are something to consider when making your final decision.

2. What are some of the resources this university offers its freshmen? Freshman year can be overwhelming, but what most college students don't know is just how many resources their school offers to ease the transition. Chances are, your school has programs like a mentor program, tutoring, multicultural resources, career exploration, and more.

[Find out how to get involved in college.]

These types of programs can be the deciding factor if you're torn between a couple schools. Admissions representatives are experts on these—and they love to share their knowledge!