Top 5 Questions To Ask When Applying To College
Looking to apply to college? In my current role as a computer engineer, I am always looking for ways to grow within my field and build new skills beyond my areas of expertise. Although experience is vital to success in IT/engineering fields, there are valuable lessons that schools provide for you to succeed in the ‘real’ world as well. Whether you will be attending college for the first time in hopes of starting a career in IT/engineering or you are returning to school to take the next step in your career, selecting the right school and program is a critical decision. In your journey to find the right college, whether undergraduate or graduate, here are five of the top questions to help you find the right one… please leave any questions of your own in the comments!
1) What is the graduation rate and average GPA of graduating students?
This helps you determine how much energy schools put into helping their students succeed, rather than just spending most of their resources getting students to spend their (or their parents’) hard earned money to apply to their school and then not providing the right resources to help them succeed once they’ve been admitted.
2) Do instructors or professors have designated office hours and what is their required availability?
If you prefer to work with instructors or professors directly, it is important to consider whether the professors are teaching the courses and investing their time to help students succeed, or do they leave it to their TA’s to handle these interactions.
3) What is the estimated total cost of tuition, including applications, program fees, books, housing, meals, required health insurance?
Some schools may list out cost per credit, while others will indicate up front the total credits required to graduate and the estimated total cost of the program. We all get enough surprises throughout our day, we don’t want any more significant surprises since money does not come from trees.
4) What are the pre-requisites to apply?
If you are applying to an undergraduate program, this will help you determine which standardized exams, letters of recommendations, or other courses are required. If you are applying to a graduate program, this will help you figure out if you need to take high-level exams (GMAT or other), just need to take some pre-requisite courses, or maybe you’re already qualified to apply based on your previous degree and/or experience.
5) Do you have any statistics on the rate of students getting jobs within their field of study?
This is helpful for you to determine what type of major or field to look into because let’s be honest, most of us pay for college to get a decent job as a result.