What To Ask the College Admissions Department

Dear College Made Simple Reader,

Today we’re publishing Part 3 of our list of questions families should think to ask college admissions departments… keep in mind, these are some great questions to ask BEORE you make any big school-related decisions.

– Scott

Questions You Should Always Ask the College Admissions Department, Part 3

What is the student-to-faculty ratio?

This is an incredibly telling statistic about the class sizes your child can expect and the availability of professors.

If the ratio is high, like 30:1, then you can expect bigger classes where students will receive much less individual attention from professors. This can also mean professors have minimal time to give students help outside of class hours.

A smaller ratio, like 10:1, usually indicates smaller classes, which can promote more discussion and participation from both students and professors.

It can also mean a much smaller school which could be a positive or a negative depending on preference.

How important are athletics to this school? If I do or do not want to take part, will I be able to find other likeminded individuals?

Whether sports are as important to you as your major, or you could care less, you will probably want to know about the school’s sports atmosphere.

Some colleges completely revolve around their athletic teams, especially football and basketball. It all depends on your preferences. If the school shuts down on the weekends during football season and every person on campus is filling the stands, the non-sports fan may feel a bit out of place.

If sports are your thing, you can also ask about intramural and club sport options available to students.

Which academic calendar does your college utilize?

Every university does not run on the same schedule. A majority of schools use the semester system (generally two per year), while others may use trimesters or quarters.

Then there is the complication of winter terms (some schools offer 5-week winter sessions), summer terms, and other shortened intensive periods of schooling.

Decide what best suits your child’s needs and find out which college provides the calendar they like best.

What are the dining options available at your school? Are there meal plans?

Food options in college are incredibly diverse. Some schools have just one dining hall; others have four, five, or six. They can be all you can eat, or they can be single plate affairs.

Most colleges offer various types of prepaid meal plans, while there are some schools that require students to “pay by the meal.”

Not only will you want to know the different meal plan options and their prices, you’ll also want to find out the availability of nearby grocery and food stores, and their proximity to campus.

What opportunities are available to study abroad?

For many, studying abroad is an integral aspect of the college experience. The chance to spend a summer, a semester, or even a year taking courses in another country could be a life-changing experience for your child.

Find out ahead of time what programs are available if you think your child may want to study abroad in the future.

To your college admissions and funding success,

Scott Weingold
Co-founder, College Planning Network, LLC

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