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College Planning

The next step in your academic career is deciding where to apply to and attend college. A college education offers lifetime benefits and is one of the best investments you can make for your future. By applying to a range of colleges, you can expand your opportunities and increase your likelihood of success. Attending a college that is a good fit for you can be a fulfilling and transformative experience!

– Excerpt from The College Board 

Included in these pages is are a variety of resources to help you make the best possible choice for your college education.

Sample questions to ask college admissions officers

 Students should take notes during the presentation and ask lots of relevant and intelligent questions. Please remember that you represent not only yourself, but also BMCHS in each and every contact you have with a college or university.


  • Describe the size and setting of the campus. What are the top five states from which your students come?
  • How is your institution unique? What distinguishes it from most other colleges and universities?
  • What sort of academic calendar do you use: semesters, trimesters, one course at a time, etc.?


  • What are the most popular majors?
  • What is the average class size for introductory, general education classes taken by freshmen and sophomores? Overall, what is the undergraduate student-faculty ratio? What is the overall undergraduate average class size?
  • How difficult or easy is it for freshmen and sophomores to enroll in courses they want?
  • Who typically teaches freshman & sophomore courses – professors, T.A.’s?
  • How easy is it to double major? How easy is it to major in one area such as science, and minor in another such as business?
  • How writing-intensive is your curriculum?
  • How available are faculty members? What are typical office hours? Do they give home numbers?
  • Is there much informal student-faculty contact outside of class such as students and faculty having lunch or dinner together or playing sports together?
  • Does each student have a personally assigned advisor, or is advising conducted by an “advisement center?” Does the student have an opportunity to select or change his/her advisor?
  • Is there an early-alert system at the college whereby first semester students receive feedback about their progress before they receive their final grades?
  • What services are offered to students needing help or tutoring?
  • Does the college have any special programs or courses for college seniors designed to serve as a “capstone” experience that ties together the students’ university experiences?
  • Describe student computing facilities. What is the ratio of campus computers (available for student use) to students?


  • What are the ranges of SAT and ACT scores and grade point average of entering freshmen?
  • What are the average SAT, ACT and GPA scores?
  • What are the deadlines for admission? Do you offer alternatives to regular admission such as early decision, early action, rolling admission? How many applications did you receive last year? What % were admitted?
  • What academic preparation do you expect in order to be admitted – which qualities and experiences are you looking for in a student? What kind of student is most successful at your university?
  • What sort of student would not be happy at your institution?
  • Do you have any pointers on writing essays that your school requires with the application?
  • Tell me about your graduation rate. How long does it usually take for full-time students to complete a degree in (specific major) at your college?
  • What is the college’s retention rate? What percent of freshmen return for sophomore year? What percentage of students who start at the college actually finish and get their degree?


  • What is the cost of attendance? (Cost of attendance includes tuition, books, fees, room, board, transportation, etc.).
  • What percent of students receive merit-based scholarships? How much is offered for the largest merit scholarship? What is the average merit-aid given?
  • What percent of students receive need-based financial aid and grants?
  • For Catholic colleges only: Do you have any special scholarships given to students from Catholic schools?


  • Are freshmen guaranteed housing? Is housing guaranteed beyond the freshmen year?
  • Are students required to live on campus? What % of students lives on campus?
  • What percent of students stay on campus on weekends?
  • Describe the variety of housing styles on campus: suites, apartments, etc.

Diversity and internationalism

  • How ethnically diverse is the campus? What percent of the student body is composed of international students?
  • What are the opportunities for study abroad? Does your institution have some unique programs? What percent of your student body studies abroad?
  • Can financial aid and scholarship monies be used to study abroad? If so, for how many semesters?

Service and Internships

  • What is the availability of campus work opportunities?
  • What volunteer/community service opportunities are available for students at the college?
  • What percent of students do internships? How does your college assist students in finding internships?


  • What campus security measures do you have? Is an escort service provided to/from the library, for night classes?
  • Tell me about the crime statistics on your campus – assault, rape, robbery, car theft, etc. What are the most “typical” incidents of crime?

Campus Life

  • What activities on campus are the most popular with students?
  • What transportation means are available? Around campus, to closest city, airport etc.
  • Is there a campus bus to town (or the local community) and back?
  • Which religious services, such as a Catholic Newman Center or a Hillel Center, are available on campus? Are religious denominations available on campus for social and/or counseling purposes?
  • Tell me about Greek life on your campus: are there fraternities and sororities? How big a part do they play on campus? Which ones have the highest GPA’s?

Student-athletes who plan to participate in athletics at college may research this at a number of the links below. Note that prospective student-athletes have certain responsibilities to meet to be eligible to participate in athletics in Division I and Division II college programs. Visit NCAA Online and the NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse for more info.