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Questions to Consider When Applying for Colleges

Nov 28, 2022

College Admissions: Four Questions to Keep in Mind

When reviewing applications as an admissions counselor, there are a few questions that I would always ask families when meeting with them privately as they were putting together a college admissions application.

#1: Tell me about your grades

Which APs and Honors did you take? While I would have the transcript in front of me, this question was really asking the student to say out loud which courses they chose to take at a more advanced level. I was asking them to say out loud which courses, if any, caused a bit of a struggle. Which classes they had to work harder in. As an admissions counselor, for my private clients, I can tell based on the Weighted and Unweighted GPA, I can approximate how many Bs are on the transcript or even if there are any Cs on there.

#2: Let’s take a look at your test scores 

I would then ask if you had taken the SAT or ACT, and about subject exams? How about super score, the whole bit. Again, this helps to continue painting the picture of what the student is naturally good at or at least, where their strengths naturally lie. 

#3: What are you planning on majoring in? 

It’s important for me to get the full picture. For example, if I learn that the student has a few Bs and they are all in STEM classes, and the student says “I want to major in Computer Science or Biology,” we might have to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting about that. This is followed quickly by the question about which colleges you are applying to, or plan to apply to. 

#4: When or how did you decide on that major? 

This is a question I love. In a private family meeting, I ask each parent what their teen was like as a child. What did they love doing? What are they really good at? 

When the teen can answer this question fairly articulately, it works. 

And I can clearly see a path of evidence as to how we arrived here, and why they settled on that major.

One important thing to keep in mind, your application has to make sense!

In other words, if your best subjects are English and the humanities, and your lower grades come in math and science,  it is probably not the best idea to declare chemistry or engineering as your chosen major. 

And the reverse is true as well. If you are taking AP Calc BC, AP Physics and AP Chem,  and you’ve spent your time on the robots team all 4 years, it may come as a bit of a surprise and disconnect if you now want to major in Film. 

In my questions to students, my goal is to get them to connect the dots. Teens arrive at a point of applying to college, decide what they want to do, study, etc, but haven’t given much time to reflect on WHY they chose that, WHY they see themselves in that role later in life, WHEN they knew they were really good at something. 

Together we paint the picture for the teen, the family, which makes it easier to paint that picture for the Admission Officer reading the file

I hope these questions to consider were a helpful tool when applying for college.

Need some help putting these application pieces together? Click Here!

I can help you on your admissions journey!

Dr. C