Find the Right College for You
Smart Interview Questions to Pick and Choose
Your Best College or University
You can find the college that is right for you. It should be a college or university that is within your budget, where you can achieve your potential, and a college that encourages your interests, values and goals. Go through these interview questions about college life. Look at each question to find the things that are most important for you in your ideal college. When you are finished, you will have a clear idea of the college that fits you best.
The college that is right for you depends on your personality, your learning style, your academic interests and your goals. There are more high school graduates than ever, and more of them want to go to college. But you can still attend the college of your choice. You've heard that some well-known colleges are selective. Be encouraged. Most four-year colleges still accept most of their applicants. Don't wind up at the wrong school. Here are 9 sets of Interview Questions to help you find a college that's right for you.
Middlebury College, Vermont
University of California at LA
College Interview Questions to Find a College That's Right for You
- The Right Academic Programs
- Find a College that Prepares Its Students Well
- College Campus Life
- College Extracurricular Activities
- College Student Body
- Your College Financial Criteria
- Are the Ivy League and Big Name Colleges Right for You?
- Where to Find More Information About the Right College
Find a College that Fits Your General Criteria
Would you prefer to attend a public or a private college? Public colleges are supported in part by tax dollars, while private colleges rely partly on endowments.
University of Kentucky
- Is the college accredited?
- Do you want to attend a coed college or not?
- Is your ideal college one of the historically black colleges?
- Does your ideal college have a religious affiliation?
- Do you want a college with a military affiliation?
- Do you want to attend a two-year college or a four-year college? Some students enroll at a two-year college and plan to transfer to a four-year college for the junior and senior year.
- Would you prefer a small, medium or large college? A small student body is under 1,000. A large student body is over 7,000.
- Would you prefer a college in a rural community, or in a college town, or in an urban area?
- Is it important that the college have name recognition and be well-known?
- Do you want to attend the college where your family graduated?
- Do your parents have a decided preference for certain colleges?
- Where should your college be located?
- Does your field of interest affect the location of your college? For example, marine biology studies near an ocean, geology in the mountains or desert, and so on.
Find a College with the Right Academic Programs
How important is the academic reputation of the college?
University of Cincinnati, Ohio
- If you have decided on your college major, how important is the reputation of the college in your field?
- Does the college offer a major in your field of interest? Not all colleges offer a major in photography or veterinary science or dance.
- Does the college offer a major program that fits your career goals?
- Is the college on the semester schedule or the quarterly schedule?
- Does the college offer a summer school program?
- Does the college have a three-year accelerated study program?
- Do you want a college with small seminar classes in which the students participate, or should most of the classes be lectures?
- Do you want to find a research college, one that also offers masters and doctoral degree programs?
- Do you want to attend a liberal arts college, where your degree will be in one of the many fields classified as liberal arts, social sciences, humanities, sciences or the arts?
How important is a junior year study program abroad?
- How big are the class sizes? Freshmen classes are sometimes over 100 students.
- How many classes are taught by part-time faculty and how many by experienced professors?
- Are you looking for a rigorous academic program?
- Are you looking for a strong program in the fine arts or in the performing arts?
- Does the college require an important senior project?
- Can you customize your own study program?
- Are computer labs, science labs, research facilities and language labs important?
- Will the college offer you tutoring and special advisers if you need them?
- Do students meet the faculty outside of class?
- If you have chosen a college major, are the faculty well-known in the field?
- Does the college offer online courses for credit?
- Does the college require volunteer work in the community?
Find a College that Prepares Its Students Well
What percentage of freshmen students return for their sophomore year?
- What percentage of incoming freshmen actually graduate?
- What percentage of graduates find a job in their major field
- What percentage of college graduates go on to graduate school?
- Should the other students be ambitious and knowledgeable?
- Should the college have a party reputation?
Find a College with the Right Campus Life
Is the campus architecture and layout attractive?
University of Wisconsin
- Can the students live off-campus? If so, what kind of apartments are available off-campus and close by?
- Are the dormitories pleasant? Is food service up to par?
- What are the dormitory rules for curfew, lights out, coed guests, coed roommates, religious services, off-campus trips, phone calls, laundry and cooking?
- What are the recreational and social opportunities?
- Are accommodations made for students with disabilities?
- Is the campus safe and secure? Is there a nighttime escort service available?
- If you will need public transportation, is it available?
- Does the college allow students to have their own car?
- Are free or low-cost health services and student insurance available on campus?
Find a College with the Right Extracurricular Activities
Are sororities and fraternities important to you?
Northwestern University, Illinois
- Does the college have a winning sports team?
- Does the college have extracurricular activities and a student union?
- Is there a campus newspaper, or student radio station or television station?
- How important is it to go to the same college as your high school friends?
- Does your ideal college have a gym, swimming pool or the sports program you want?
- Would you like to be close to a city with theater, fine arts or museums?
Find a College with the Right Students
What are the other students like at your ideal college?
Ohio State University
- Is it important that other students be achievement oriented?
- Is everybody friendly and close-knit?
- Is it important to have international students and cultural diversity?
- Do most of the students live at home and commute to classes?
- Are the students at the college politically active? Are they involved with the community?
Find the Right College for Your Financial Criteria
Florida State University
Is the cost of the college within your budget? College costs include tuition, room and board, books, fees, and transportation.
- How important is it to save money by attending an in-state college, that is, a college in your home state? Out-of-state students generally pay higher tuition than in-state students.
- In order to save airfare, do you want a college within driving distance of home?
- Do you want to save money by attending a two-year college and transferring to a four-year college for your junior and senior years?
- Will the college offer you grants, scholarships, student loans, and work-study programs?
- Will you be able to find part-time work on campus or in a nearby town?
- Will you be able to save money by living at home?
- Does the college contemplate budget cuts, layoffs and tuition increases?
Are the Ivy League and Big Name Colleges Right for You?
Do you want to attend an Ivy League college? Some students choose an ivy league college for the prestige or the valuable contacts. The Ivy League colleges are Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University. Everyone agrees they are excellent schools.
Harvard University, Mass.
A few of the other big-name schools are Amherst, Cal Tech, MIT and Stanford. The largest university in the United States is Ohio State. The Ivy League and big name colleges are exclusive. They usually accept fewer than 20% of the students who apply. The competition to be admitted is very strong.
Where to Find More Information About the Right College
Find more information about college life from a variety of sources. Talk to students at the college. Wikipedia offers articles about many colleges. Browse the famous college guides, such as Peterson's, Barron's and the College Board. Collect college catalogs. Visit the college website. Watch the college video for a virtual tour of campus. Talk to your school adviser. Interview college admissions counselors who visit your high school. If your school hosts a college fair, get acquainted with the colleges who are represented. If your school doesn't host a college fair, travel to a nearby fair. You can find a schedule of college fairs provided by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
Michigan Institute of Technology
The magazine U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges every year. The ranking is determined in part from a survey of college presidents and deans on how the academic programs at other schools compare to their own. The college ranking is also based on other factors like college graduation rate, faculty resources, SAT scores of the incoming students, students in the top 10% of their high school class, faculty and college finances. College rankings can be misleading, because the opinions are subjective. But people do measure the value of your degree by the rank of the college.
The Center for Measuring University Performance also ranks colleges. Another college ranking is the National Survey of Student Engagement, NSSE, which surveys college students about education quality and student satisfaction.
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