As you apply to colleges and decide which one is best for you, one of the most important things you need to do is talk to a college admissions adviser. Many colleges do offer online application processes, which make paperwork easy, but you should still take the time to talk to an adviser.
When you talk to an admissions adviser, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about applying, financial aid, majors and anything else you are unsure about. Talking to an adviser is also a great way to feel out a college before you enroll.
So how do you know what to ask? You’ll likely have some specific questions about your area of study or the school’s application, but here are five questions you should definitely add to your list.
1. What is My Estimated Graduation Date?
It’s true that it generally takes about two years to earn an associate’s degree and four years to earn a bachelor’s degree, but each school has a different course schedule. Depending on how classes and semesters are set up, you could graduate more quickly or it could take you a little longer to earn your degree.
Another thing to keep in mind is transfer credits. If you are moving to a new school, some credits from your previous school could transfer, meaning you won’t have to take as many classes to earn your degree. This is something you can only find out by talking to an adviser.
2. What are my Financial Aid Options?
Student loans and scholarships are available for most schools, but many schools offer their own financial aid programs and even scholarships. When you talk with an adviser you can find out what your options are and how you can apply for them.
Be sure to ask about your degree program, as there is financial aid and scholarships available to students who are enrolled in specific programs.
Some schools even offer different kinds of payment plans, so if you can’t afford to pay all of your tuition at once, you can make scheduled payments to cover your costs.
3. What are the School’s Graduation Rates?
Knowing what a school’s graduation rates are can help you understand how successful the school is and if students feel that they are earning a valuable education.
If graduation rates are low, it could signal a problem with the degree programs, courses, staff or even professors. On the other hand, high graduation rates usually mean students enjoy their programs and feel motivated to earn their degree.
4. Can You Give me Some Job Placement Rates?
Job placement rates are another statistic you should know. Some schools provide general rates while others can tell you how many students in the program you are interested in graduate and find employment in that industry.
This is extremely important to know because it can tell you if the education and skills you will learn at the school are what employers are looking for. The most valuable degree programs are the ones that help students find employment.
Your goal when earning a degree is to make yourself more attractive to employers, and knowing what job placement rates at a college are can help you decide if the school can help you accomplish this.
5. What Kind of Job Searching Resources do You Offer?
If your goal in earning your degree is to have the ability to work in an industry that interests you and land a job you love, a school that offers job-searching resources could help you accomplish this.
Many schools offer things like job fairs, networking events, job databases, career workshops, interview preparation resources and even counselors who can help you find and apply for jobs. Knowing what kinds of employment resources a college offers can help you decide if it will help you meet your goals and if it’s the right school for you.
Talking to an admissions adviser from the schools you are applying to is one of the best ways you can find the right school for you and achieve your academic and professional goals.