questions to ask college reps at college fairs

Top 7 Questions to Ask College Reps as a Prospective Student

When it comes to the college search and application process, many students are far more worried about what their prospective colleges might ask them in an admissions interview than the questions they, as prospective students, should be asking college reps.

Students focus on having the right answers to all kinds of questions such as, “What makes you unique?”, “What are your study habits?”, and the anxiety-inducing “So, tell me about yourself.”

While students should be able to answer these questions thoughtfully, that is only half the battle. If you truly want to stand out from a field of equally-qualified candidates — and garner attention from college admissions officers — be sure you are asking insightful questions of your own.

Today, we’ll cover seven questions to ask college reps as prospective students. You can ask these questions at college fairs, information sessions, via email, social media, or during an interview. Each of these questions will allow you to gather meaningful information about the college, demonstrate your interest in the school, and show off your personality.

Let’s get started.

1. What is unique about your school’s curriculum?

By asking this question, admissions officers can share what makes their school’s educational approach unique, as well as the benefits of their curriculum. It also allows you, as the student, to evaluate how this aligns with your and the school’s expectations.

2. Are classes taught mostly by professors or teaching assistants (TA)?

Small class sizes have their benefits, but can be less meaningful if those classes are taught by TAs rather than professors. Asking this question to college reps will demonstrate your interest in academics. Additionally, don’t hesitate to find out if your professors will be accessible to you. Do they have regular office hours? What is the typical relationship between teachers and students? Can you contact them online if needed, too?

3. How does your college help students secure employment?

Students asking this question show they are asking for accurate data and looking ahead to the future long after graduation. Ask your college rep to provide information on the percentage of students that engage with career services and the student-to-counselor ratio. Additionally, ask whether seniors receive the bulk of the counseling, or are career resources available to students of all levels?

You can ask the college reps to provide information on job fairs, networking events, and corporate recruiting opportunities on campus. You can also ask if students find employment directly through the efforts of the career counselors or on their own.

If the admissions officer provides you with specific information and data in these areas, that’s a great sign. It’s also a great sign if your prospective school has a full-fledged career services offering. However, if they avoid this question completely, or offer vague assurances regarding the quality of their career services, you might consider stronger options.

4. What research opportunities do you offer students?

The opportunity to work alongside faculty and staff as they conduct research — and/or participate in a faculty-led independent research project — can be the highlight of a student’s undergraduate education. Yet, some schools reserve those opportunities for graduate students, or worse, they do not have them at all.

Hence why this question can not only demonstrate your interest in research, but it will more importantly show college reps you are thinking and preparing for your future.

5. How would you characterize the majority of students at your school?

This question assists students in determining if they’re a fit at that specific school. The college representative should be able to tell you the type of people on campus and the culture they are cultivating. Furthermore, ask questions about the surrounding areas to the admissions officers to show your interest in the community off-campus as well.

We also recommend using the answer to the question to tailor your essay and other application materials to this specific school.

6. What do students enjoy most about this college?

You can learn a lot about a school’s culture, values, and priorities from how an admissions officer answers this question. Plus, you will also discover if your values and priorities align with that school.

For example, if you are not interested in sports, you might not want to attend a school whose weekends are the most important time on the calendar. Similarly, if you are interested in camping/hiking/skiing and other outdoor activities, attending a school with an outing club or frequent outdoor weekend trips might be a perfect match.

This question allows students to highlight parts of their personality and interests that may not easily show up in their applications and essays.

7. What made you want to work for this college?

By asking the college rep why they wanted to work for this college, you take a common question asked of applicants and pose it to college reps. In doing so, you not only discover what makes the college unique and special, but more importantly, you leave a mark on that college rep who may be the one responsible for admitting you.

This list of questions to ask college reps is not, by any means, an exhaustive list. There are plenty more, such as…

  • What political, social, or academic issues concerned students last year? How did the administration react and what was the solution?
  • Is there a good balance of academics, social life, and extracurricular activities?
  • What on and off-campus housing is available to students?
  • Is there a doctor, nurse, psychologist, or career counselor on campus?
  • What is the educational philosophy of the college?
  • Are there student testimonials available online, or students with whom I can speak?

By asking these questions to college reps, you shed light on the critical aspects of your college search and show you have put thought and preparation into not only the admissions process but your future.

Asking questions to the admissions committee is one of the best ways to show off your insight, curiosity, and serious investment in your respective college or university. In asking questions, you determine if that college or university is the right fit for you.

University of Bridgeport has a wide variety of in-person and online undergraduate and graduate programs available. Applications are now open. Start your future, today!