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Brenna_o's avatar

What should I ask a college rep.?

Asked by Brenna_o (1729 points ) October 18th, 2009

I am a junior in highschool and Im going to a college fair tomorrow morning. I need help on what type of questions I should ask different college representatives. Or any advice on things that I should look for in a college, the campus, and things like that. Any advice would help pretty much, Im so clueless.

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Look to yourself first. What kind of student are you? What do you enjoy studying? Are you a social butterfly or a shy type? An athlete, musician, community activist? How far away from home is good or feasible? What are the financial restraints? Do you want a huge uni or a small college? City, country? Ability to order pizza at 3 AM or cross-country ski to class?

Frats and sororities? Party school? Drunken week-ends? Peace and quiet?

Get figures froma the reps. Difficulty or ease of admission…range of test scores that are acceptable….well, you get the point.

Brenna_o's avatar

I am a musician and love playing the flute. I plan to study social work and be licensed by the time i graduate.

gailcalled's avatar

That takes care of some of your issues. Think about the non-academic side of life on campus. And keep in mind that you may change your mind about wanting to be a Social Worker. It will take someone approximately 200 years to take all the undergrad courses listed in the Harvard College catalog. (Although that may have changed since their endowment dropped to $26 billion….doing this from memory, remember.)

I would wager that your playing the flute will remain a life-long passion. Every decent college has an orchestra, so you could ask about that.

Have you and your family discussed the financial realities? These days that is the place to start. Good luck.

cjmegatron81's avatar

Truly understand the material. So not just remember and spit out facts.

gailcalled's avatar

@cjmegatron81: These college fairs are for disseminating information and material and tempting the window shopper, so to speak.

Brenna_o is starting from scratch and trying to sort out how to winnow down 2000 or so choices to 6 or 7. The importance of understanding and appreciating a college that might suit her is for the interview stage.

Brenna_o's avatar

@cjmegatron81 There are like 300 colleges going to be there! So I have a feeling it will be overwhelming but my mom has helped me pick like 16 colleges to specifically look at. But im still so insure of what i want to be.

gailcalled's avatar

You are supposed to be unsure at 16. If you are leaning towards a degree in Liberal Arts (BA) you don’t have to declare a major or special interest until your third year. Tomorrow is for you to start the process; it’s only step number one.

smile1's avatar

@Brenna_o haha. im a junior in high school as well! today, i went to a college fair, and, i learned, that you have to know what you are vaguely interested in (could be major, or something as small as do you want to go to somplace far away, or someplace cold/warm?). or else, you will get bombarded with wayyyy to much info than you will ever need by going to each and every 360 some colleges

aeschylus's avatar

College fairs are a waste of time. Any information you need can be found online in a much less deceptive format. If you have questions you can always call the admissions department of a college to have them answered. Do not waste your time being advertised to; colleges are businesses. You need to know what you are buying and how much it costs. That is all. Then you can decide whether it is worth it to you or not. If you have already narrowed own your search to 16 colleges, then I would just compile the information you need and compare them on the basis of that data. Make a decision based on data.

This is all my opinion, but I think it could save you some time and give you better results. I hope you will take it under consideration.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Before you go to a college fair, you need to think about at your interests, grades/test scores, how motivated you are to study, and have a realistic talk with your parents about how you’re going to finance college.

Princeton Review has a good search tool to help you narrow your interests.

There will be a lot of students there, and this is not an interview. The admissions people are there to provide you with information about the schools and answer questions.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

GET BROCHURES. That way, you can look back and remember what schools you were and weren’t interested in, and, more importantly, why you liked or disliked them.

Get basics from each rep about location, number of students, available majors, tuition, average GPA for acceptance, and anything else you have a particular interest in (ie do they have a music program, do they have student housing, what percentage of graduates pursue an advanced degree, what the core requirements for graduating are, and so on and so forth, whatever interests you most and is most important to you).

Hopefully, from hearing about these schools, you’ll find some common factors of what you want in a school. From there, narrow to a few schools you’re interested in knowing more about and visit those, if possible. If not, try to make contact with someone at the school who can answer questions you have about your interests.

There are a few basic things you should decide on. I found that the most basic starting points for types of schools to look at relied upon deciding whether you want to be on an insular campus or at a city school, what kind of major you think you want to study, and how much tuition you can and will be willing pay. Knowing those three pieces will help you narrow down significantly. From there, it gets more detailed.

janbb's avatar

Consider this like a “shopping trip.” at this point you’re just starting to see what’s out there. You don’t have to impress anyone yet or make any decisions. You can have a few standard questions in mind to ask; i.e., How competitive is it to play in the orchestra? Do you offer a BA in social work? – but mainly you are there to pick up some general impressions and brochures.

This is a tense time but also an exciting time. Since your “performance” at the fair will not determine whether you get in anywhere, leave your tension at the door and just enjoy browsing.

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