How To Apply To College
How To Request Information from Colleges
Finding out more about the colleges you are interested in will inform the search and admissions process in many ways. The more information you have about a college, the better you can refine and create your top college list by getting the most recent and factual data — from the school's perspective.
An admissions officer can supply you with insightful tips you cannot find online or in a book, which makes requesting information from schools on your college list is an important step when applying to college. Speaking with a school representative gives you a two-way opportunity to explore whether a school, that looked good on paper, is truly offering the experience your looking for. When thinking about how to get in, the more research you do, the better you can strategize and put your best foot forward!
Questions to ask when calling or writing the college admissions office:
- How does the college allocate their financial aid budget?
Some schools will not share this information unless you ask. Note that sometimes even admissions officers are unaware of the schools practices regarding financial aid, but knowing is important so do not be deterred. Ask if the school is need blind, need aware, or meets need in full, if you may be seeking financial aid.
- How can you connect with student advocates?
Many schools have student advocates from a major or extracurricular you are interested in that can call or email you to answers more in depth questions you have. If you are looking to live on campus, the school may have the option for you to stay overnight with a student advocate.
- When are the tours, open houses?
Schools want you to visit, so they regularly host tours and open houses— ask about them! Find out when they are and plan a visit.
- Are there college sports games, concerts, or events you can attend?
In addition to a tour, or staying overnight, the college may have events going on that you can participate in if you visit.
- What majors and extracurricular activities does the college offer?
While often these are listed on the website, when you ask you may find that the school specializes in one or two subjects over another. The best school for you will be the one with majors that align with your interests. Many college bound students do not know their major at this point in admissions and it is okay! You can research schools to see if they offer a general degree you may be interested in to start.
- Does the college use rolling admissions and what are the deadlines?
While most schools are very clear about their deadlines for applying, asking more about their process and what they value in a candidate can help you better prepare. Share information you find with a mentor or school councilor and they can help you organize this information into a useful strategy.