Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Which Colleges or Graduate Schools Should You Apply To?

This time of year, many people are choosing the colleges and graduate schools to apply to.

You'll likely create a wiser list if you ask an admissions person the questions among these that are relevant to your situation:
  • For a student with my grades and test scores, what's the average freshman-to-senior growth in reading  writing, etc? (If you're told that the institution doesn't collect that data, it suggests they don't care enough about student growth to do so.)
  • What percentage of freshmen with my grades, test scores, and planned major, graduate within four years? Five years?  If it's a graduate program, what is the average, not the expected, time it takes to complete the degree?
  • My family makes $X a year and has, not counting their home, has $Y in assets. My GPA is Z and my SAT/GRE etc is Q.  Approximately, how much am I likely to end up paying in cash and how much loan will I be expected to take? And what will my package look like in years 2-4? Year 5 and beyond?
  • In your institution's most recent accreditation review, did it receive a full ten-year term? What did the accreditation's visiting team report cite as your institution's greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses? 
  • Would you email me a copy of the results of the most recent student or alumni satisfaction survey?
  • What percentage of graduates in my planned major are professionally employed within a year of graduation?

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