Five Questions to Ask a College Rep
Your phone rings. You look down.
Maranatha Baptist University.
You stare at your phone and enter the brief but agonizing struggle of whether or not to answer. It’s not that you dislike MBU, but you just really don’t want to get into a conversation about the future.
You answer. The classic small talk ensues until the question you were dreading comes up.
“Do you have any questions about MBU?”
You don’t know. You asked about the food last time, so that won’t do. You feel like making a decision about the next four years of your life should come with a few questions, but honestly – you got nothing.
If you’ve ever been here before, here are a few effective questions you can ask any college representative to help you decide between the school you will like and the school you will love.
Can you give me an example of what the culture is like at your school?
You will be living in this place for two to four years, so getting a better picture of what it feels like to be on campus is important. Now, almost every rep will give you some scripted answer about family, community, and friends.
To get a better picture, ask him or her to give a personal story that would illustrate those aspects of family and community. Listen for detailed descriptions instead of generic stories.
What is the thing that frustrates you the most about your school?
Wait, what? Frustrates?
Yes. There is no perfect school and it is important for you to realize that and prepare for it. Alumni who truly love their school know the strengths and weaknesses and remain committed to the mission anyway. College is stressful, and becoming aware of the complete experience will give you a better mindset going in.
What kind of support system is in place to help me transition from high school to college?
You have never been to college. Obvious, I know. But you will want to know if the school has a system in place that helps you navigate the everyday aspects of life on campus. How will you know where you need to be, what you need to have, and who you need to go see?
Preparation breeds confidence. Confidence breeds success. If you want to be successful from day one, then make sure the university has a plan to help you transition.
I want to _________ with my life. How does MBU plan to get me there?
Every university has success stories. But you want to know about you. Do they have a strategy that is proven to help you become the person you want to be four years from now.
First, be specific about the kind of person you want to be, and the ambitions that you have. Second, listen for details and flexibility. If they can’t walk you through what it will look like or direct you to someone who can (because reps don’t know everything), consider that a red flag.
If there is no flexibility, then there is no room for life to happen. Life changes. Choosing a university that welcomes that reality and mentors you through it is essential.
How is MBU different from every other college?
The point of this question is to determine what their calling card is. If you are going to entrust your professional and personal development to an institution, you need to know why you are choosing them. For example, if you were to ask that question from MBU it would sound something like this.
MBU is uniquely built to develop leaders in all fields around the world. We provide professional-grade education with high-level internships from a faculty and staff that invests in each student personally to model what leadership looks like in their field.
Do not be afraid to ask follow-up questions to get better clarity. A rep that truly believes in his or her institution will love to talk about what they can do to help you.
More Than An Education
College decisions are hard, but these five questions can move past majors and finances and into the details that will leave you with lasting memories and influential experiences for years to come. So the next time you speak with a college rep….ask away!