As you visit campuses and attend college information sessions, you’re likely to have a chance to speak to a campus ambassador. These are current students who give prospective students tours of the school and who answer questions about the school from a student’s perspective.
Campus ambassadors are an important source of information, but they’re not an entirely objective one. They’re doing a job, and that job is to persuade prospective students to come to their school.
When you talk to a campus ambassador, be realistic about the kinds of questions they are in a position to answer. You can’t expect them to have inside information about admissions decisions or financial aid. They can, however, tell you what it’s like to live and study at that school and what it was like to transition from high school and home to being a college student.
Since these students are not entirely objective, the best questions to ask them are subjective ones as these will give you the best opportunity to filter their responses. You should, of course, have a plan for your campus visit and know what specifically you want to check out. With that in mind, here are some questions that you may want to consider asking:
- Was there anything about this school that surprised and pleased you?
- Was there anything about this school that disappointed you?
- Is there anything you wished you had known, or thought about more, before coming here?
- What are the most important or useful things you brought to school with you?
- Realistically, how much spending money should I plan on having?
- What is the community around the campus like? What are your favorite things to do off-campus?
- If I were your younger sister/brother (and we liked each other!) what would you tell me to consider if I received an admissions offer from this school?
- What other schools did you apply to? What made you pick this one?
- If you had a chance to transfer to another school, would you? Why or why not?