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The Power of Questions

Throughout the college shopping season, when high school students are meeting with college reps at campus visits, high school info sessions and college fairs, the importance of asking questions is critical; and there is a difference between good questions and bad questions in the college admissions world. The act of engaging with the admissions counselor, for even a brief time, is the number one priority, and the impression you leave on them can make a difference in your admissions file later down the road.

So that being said, what would be an example of a good question versus a not so good question? A good rule is that if the answer to the question can quickly be found on the college website, it is not a great question to ask in person. Having worked as an admissions officer myself once upon a time, I did grow weary of hearing the same questions over and over, which were typically questions that could be answered with a quick glance online, such as “Do you offer scholarships?” or “When is your application deadline?” Good questions dive a little deeper and sometimes may be a little more subjective than objective. Take the question below:

“How would you describe the personality of the student body?” 

This question may catch the admissions rep off guard, and they might even find it difficult to answer. Can a student body really be defined by such terms? The point of this question, though, is that it hopefully provides something a little different and fun for the admissions officer, which ultimately may help differentiate you from other students (make sure they take your information down if visiting a fair or your school). 

Here is one more for fun:

“If you could snap your fingers and all of a sudden be a current undergraduate student here, what would you be excited about taking advantage of?”

You get the idea. If you spend enough time thinking about it, you could probably come up with some great unique questions of your own!

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