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Male faculty member laughs with group of students after class. Text Overlay: What to Ask During Your College Search

Questions to Ask During Your College Search

As you dive into your college search, you are no doubt compiling a list of questions that will help you make a final decision. While questions about how you will pay for college and what you are going to major in are important, there are other questions you might not think to ask. The answers to those questions could make a difference on where you ultimately choose to go to college. These five questions to ask during your college search can help you find the right fit.

HOw Accessible are the Professors

Access to your professors can play a role in your overall college experience and satisfaction. Professors typically offer office hours outside of class that provide additional academic support. This one-on-one time allows for personalized assistance catered to your learning style and is a wonderful way to make personal connections with your teachers.

When scoping out colleges, consider how class size impacts your connection with professors. At some schools, big classes might mean less face time with professors, with teaching or graduate assistants stepping in for office hours. You might even find yourself learning from graduate assistants instead of seasoned professors.

Ask about class structures and the level of faculty assistance available and determine for yourself how accessible you would like your professors and teaching staff to be.

What Support Services are Available? 

Services like tutoring, academic advising, accessibility accommodations and mental health counseling can help you succeed and make your time in college more fulfilling.

Most colleges offer a variety of support services in different areas, but what is provided is not necessarily the same across schools. Think about your needs and ask questions specific to the support that is important to you so you can determine what school will support you the best.

How Far Do I Want to be Away From Home? 

According to USA Today, most college students live an average of 50 miles away from home. Choosing a college close to home provides comfort and access to familiar resources like family, home-cooked meals and friends. But, attending a college further away can provide greater independence, a chance to see diverse perspectives and the opportunity to form new friendships.

As you consider what distance from home is right for you, be sure to ask important questions like:

○ What is campus like on the weekends?
○ How often do I want to visit home?
○ What opportunities exist to get involved on campus?
○ What parking or transportation options are available to help me get home when I want to?

It is also important to ask about campus safety measures and emergency services. What presence do campus police have and are safety escort services offered? These questions are particularly important if you are considering living farther away from home.

Whatever you place importance on, getting your family on board and managing expectations on how often to visit, call or even send care packages can help to ease any feelings of being homesick you might have.

How Much Time Should I Spend Studying? 

No matter what college you end up going to, having good study habits is necessary to maintain a healthy grade point average. But how much time should you study? The answer is different for everyone.

One factor depends on the number of credit hours you are taking. Full-time students typically dedicate 10-15 hours per week to studying, and more during exam times, with a course load of at least 12 credit hours. Keep in mind that certain programs may demand extra study hours or require additional work outside of class.

You should also consider the difficulty level of each class. More challenging courses may require more of your time. This reality can remind you to make sure you have a balanced schedule of classes each semester, so you don’t become overwhelmed.

Do I see Myself at this College? 

At the end of the day, the real question is, “do I see myself at this college?” Having a sense of belonging at a college where you can thrive can outweigh many reasons for choosing a different school.

Attend events at colleges you are interested in, like preview days or sporting events, to get a sense of the student body and campus life. This can give you a glimpse of what it feels like to be a part of that community and what life at that college can give you.

And don’t be afraid to ask all the questions that come to your mind. The more you know about the college, the more you can envision yourself there and make the decision that is right for you.

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