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The Best Questions To Ask Current Students At Colleges You’re Considering

Last updated August 17, 2023

As you research colleges, you'll find that most of them know how to make their campus look and sound amazing on paper. The common spiel, from colleges, right now goes something like this: We have top academic programs, dedicated professors, and an active campus culture! Love it - but what is it really like being a student at that college?

If you’re the kind of person who likes to hear things from the source - your best bet is chatting with current students at colleges you’re considering. Here are the top questions to ask current college students so you’re clued into every important detail and able to make an informed decision about which colleges to apply to.

If you aren’t sure how to get into contact with current students at any college, check out our guide on how to explore colleges from afar (hint: Facebook groups, Discord, and LinkedIn are where it’s at!).

“What’s it like at this college? Would you recommend it? Why?”

It’s best to start broadly with a straightforward question - do y’all like your college? And would you recommend it?

Any answer other than yes to that initial question should give you pause. Pay special attention to the whys - what they like and dislike about the college and why. The particulars are important because each person’s subjective opinion of a college isn’t the end all be all. Get as many perspectives as you can from as many different people you can find.

“How are programs for the majors I'm interested in?”

This is a key follow-up to the above question. Students majoring in different fields often have dramatically different experiences and impressions of a college.

One student majoring in business at a particular college might feel extremely fulfilled - they love their professors, and enjoy their peers in each class - but at that same college, a student majoring in literature at that same college might find their professors lacking, and their peers judgmental. Or vice versa. Ask current students about specific majors and departments you're interested in!

“What are your favorite and least favorite things about this college?”

This question gives the current students you’re chatting with the opportunity to give a fair overview of the major pros and cons of attending their college, from their perspective.

Pay attention to how the things the students are labeling their favorite and least favorite match up to your own list of priorities for what you want in a potential college. Does this sound like the right fit for you?

"What tips or advice do you have for incoming freshmen?"

This question serves two purposes - one, in the event you choose the college you're discussing, you're gaining some great first-hand advice. Two, when you start asking this question multiple times to different students at the colleges you're considering, you'll be able to compare and contrast what to expect as a freshman at each college and see how that data aligns with what you're looking for in your final college choice.

Need help figuring out what life is like at a college you’re thinking about? Want advice from an expert? You can chat with our advisors at any time by texting “Hello” to 33-55-77.

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