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10 Best Questions to Ask Your Admissions Counselor

Starting college is an exciting and sometimes daunting step on your life’s journey. The choice you make will set the stage for a transformative chapter in your life as you learn, grow and forge lifelong connections.

At Abilene Christian University, we want to guide you through the college search process as you make this life-changing decision. Here are 10 key questions to ask admissions counselors as you research which university is the right fit for you.

1. What are the admission requirements and deadlines for my chosen program?

Depending on what major you select, admissions requirements will differ. Asking this question will give you the information you need to submit a strong application. You will also want to find out about the application process and cost to apply. Information that is commonly requested includes:

  • Your official transcript(s)
  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Exams such as SAT or ACT

2. What is the first-year experience like?

Some universities have well-designed first-year programs to help you find your place as you immerse yourself in the college experience. Education experts such as U.S. News & World Report annually recognize universities that excel in programs related to the student experience and student success. As you research different universities, these endorsements can provide an important element to consider.

And don’t forget social media channels, such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and X, which can provide valuable insights into the culture of a university. YouTube is an especially great channel to catch glimpses of campus life as well as hearing firsthand from current students and professors about what to expect.

3. What can I expect in the classroom?

Knowing the student-to-faculty ratio and average number of students in your classes can provide an indication of how much individual attention you will receive.

Some universities place high value on experiential learning – or learning by doing – and on the quality of research opportunities available to underclassmen, both in and outside the classroom.

Ask your admissions counselor to connect you directly with a faculty member or to arrange a campus tour so you can learn firsthand about the field of study you are interested in pursuing.

4. What global and service opportunities are offered?

Many universities offer study abroad programs. Find out what destinations are offered and whether you have the option to study abroad for an entire semester or participate in shorter trips that tie into your major.

Some universities incorporate global service and missional aspects into their academic experience. These experiences can enrich your education and allow you to impact the world while you are preparing for your future career.

5. Are internships a requirement for graduation, and does the college offer resources and support for finding internships?

Find out what percentage of students complete internships at the college and ask for examples of employers who have hired their students. Ask about alumni connections that can help you in your search. Some universities have dedicated career centers available to help students prepare for interviews and write their resumes, as well as connecting them with internships and jobs after graduation.

6. What is the student life experience like?

Student life encompasses the culture and atmosphere where you will spend four years of your life, such as:

  • Where you will live
  • Where you will eat
  • Activities available to you
  • Diversity of the student body

Take time to reflect on the college experience you are seeking. Do you want a smaller college with a more intimate environment or a larger university setting? How important is it to have individualized attention from professors or smaller-group experiences that build a strong sense of community?

Ask about the number and types of student organizations, clubs and extracurricular activities on campus. If you’re interested in Greek life, find out about sororities and fraternities. Ask what resources are available if you need help with your classes or with your personal life.

Ensure that the institution aligns with your academic, personal and professional goals. If you are considering a Christian university, look at the opportunities for spiritual growth, such as daily Chapel gatherings, that bring students together for fellowship, worship and learning.

Ultimately, your ideal college is not just an institution that meets academic criteria but one that feels like a home where you can thrive intellectually, socially and personally.

7. Are there fun things to do on and off campus?

A vibrant campus community and a welcoming larger community can make your college experience more exciting as you prepare for your future career.

  • Are there interesting or quirky places to have a cup of coffee or fun boutiques to shop?
  • What type of cultural or athletic events are offered?
  • What does the on-campus social scene look like?

Some universities, such as Abilene Christian, offer a variety of on-campus and off-campus activities designed to foster community. ACU’s D1 athletics program builds on a decades-long legacy of NCAA championships. A new on-campus football stadium and other state-of-the-art sports facilities give Wildcat fans plenty of opportunities to root for their favorite players.

All these elements become a canvas for new connections, friendships and the exploration of your academic passions.

8. What type of financial aid is offered?

Most students rely on financial aid to help them attend college. In addition to grants and loans, scholarships may be available for students at large or for specific majors and programs. Take note of when scholarship applications are due. Most scholarship applications and priority financial aid deadlines are in February.

9. What resources are available on campus if I need help?

What resources are available if I need help with my classes? Is help available if I face personal challenges? Is assistance available as I look for a job after graduation? The level of success you achieve can be significantly influenced by the extent to which a university supports both your academic and personal development.

10. Can you share some alumni success stories?

As you look at graduation and beyond, one of the best ways to predict your own success is to look at the lives of alumni who have previously graduated. Look not only at their career success but also at how they impact their communities through the way they engage the world.

Find out more

If you have questions about the application or admissions process at ACU or what it’s like to be a student here, we encourage you to register for an appointment with an admissions counselor. Meetings are optional, casual and can begin as early as your junior year of high school.

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