Student leaders are great role-models as well as information sources because their present is your immediate future. They stood in your shoes not too long ago and love helping students who could potentially follow in their foot-steps.
Hopefully, the directors of undergraduate student involvement and professors put you in contact with the college’s best and brightest leaders who share your interests or major. If not, every university has an office of student involvement that publishes a list of active student organizations where you’ll find the contact information for student leaders and/or faculty advisors. Many times, these lists are available online (USC example). Other times you may have to call the office to request the information.
♦ = must ask question
• What is your major?
♦ Why did you choose your current college? Are those reasons different from what makes you like being studying here today?
♦ What other colleges did you apply to? Why attracted you to them?
• How do you feel about your experience?
♦ What do you love about your college? Like least?
♦ What do you wish more students knew about the college?
• Why did you to get involved with your current student organization?
♦ How have grown through your involvement that you appreciate the most?
• What motivated you to rise to your current leadership position?
• Beyond the leadership team, how actively involved are your members? Faculty advisors?
♦ How would you characterize the majority of students who attend your university?
♦ How would you characterize the majority of students who attend the school of ____? (i.e. a specific college of study within the university)
♦ What do your college’s best students and leaders do differently from everyone else?
♦ What are your favorite aspects of your school’s spirit?
• From what economic background are the majority of students?
• Is there any particular orientation towards religion on campus? What is the impact on student life?
• How diverse is the campus?
♦ What is the campus like?
• Is there a central gathering place for students that students find popular?
♦ Where are good places for students to live (both on and around campus)?
• How do college athletics contribute to the social life of the campus? What happens on football or basketball weekends?
• Is it hard to find off campus housing after freshman year? How did you meet your current roommates?
• What reputation does the department of ____ have?
• How large are the class sizes?
♦ Which classes have been the most innovative and project-oriented?
♦ Have you taken any discussion based classes that use the socratic method? How was it? How common are those types of classes? (Note: this question will help you assess if most classes are lecture based or discussion based)
♦ How often do people like to talk about their courses, assigned readings, and converse with their professors outside of class?
• How much help outside of the classroom do you get from professors?
♦ What sorts of opportunities do most students explore outside of the classroom to prepare for careers beyond college?
Leadership and Involvement:
♦ What kinds of student involvement opportunities exist on campus?
• Who are the dominant groups on campus?
• What kind of events did those student groups organize on campus last year?
♦ Does the college go out of its way to support student organizations? How? (funding, awards, retreats)
♦ Does the college go out of its way to support leadership development? How? (programs, classes, retreats)
• What kinds of resources and facilities does the student center have?
• Do you have any favorite contributions or initiatives by the student government that you’re aware of?
• What student organizations are you involved in? Why?
• What have you benefitted the most from your involvement?
♦ What the people in your chapter (or club) like? Do opportunities to network with chapters at other colleges exist?
• What are your most favorite parts of your involvement? What are your least favorite parts?
♦ What makes the chapter (or club) at your campus unique from the chapters (or clubs) at other campuses?
• If you were the president, what are some things you’d change or do differently? (This is a cloaked way of asking what the weaknesses are)
♦ Are there any special events, traditions, programs, or festivals that the campus hosts every year?
• Did any political, social, or academic issues capture the student body’s attention last year? How did the administration react? What was the resolution?
Fun and Recreation:
♦ On weekends, do most students go home or hang around on campus? What is student life like?
• What do most students do for fun?
• What is there to do in the surrounding community?
• What facilities does the campus recreation center have?
• What intramural sports are available?
• What are the parties like?
Deal Makers or Breakers:
♦ What’s the weather like and how does it effect life on campus? Ask specifically about the frequency of any severe weather patterns (e.g. extreme temperature, rain, snow, humidity, etc.)
♦ Are there any special traditions related to the seasons or weather?
• Do students feel safe on campus? Why or why not?
• Is there something I should know about housing or dining that would help me in my choice? Meal plans? All you can eat? Vegetarian? Kosher?
♦ What is the yearly cost of attendance, including books, tuition, fees, housing and meal plans? In other words, what is the all-inclusive cost? (Note: you can also find this on the college’s website)
♦ What is the most helpful advice that you wished you knew when you were applying to college?
♦ Do you have any friends who share my major or interests that I might enjoy entertaining my curiosity about their experiences?
Send a nice thank you email.