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When you’re considering going to college, knowing where to start and even what questions to ask can be difficult. It’s normal to be unfamiliar with the college admission process and with what to expect from any particular degree program or college courses. Researching college degrees and programs online is a good start, but it can only go so far. You’ll learn the most by actually talking with admission staff. When you do, here are 5 questions to ask about the school and your program of interest.

1. How will this program help me achieve my goals?
After starting your own research online, talking with an admissions team member can help you confirm whether a program’s outcomes actually match your professional goals. Your plan may be to enter an entirely new field or to grow in your current career. Whatever your goals, make sure you understand the specific skills and abilities the program teaches and the jobs graduates are prepared to pursue. Ask about their alumni’s success and the career planning and job search support offered to students. For some programs, you may even get data on job placement or exam pass rates for recent graduates.

2. What can I expect from my college courses?
Your college courses should be rooted in industry needs. They should teach practical, in-demand skills, with assignments, discussions, and case studies based on the real world.
In many careers, employers value hands-on experiences gained through practicums, labs, course projects, or internships. Another important aspect is how much you’ll interact with faculty and whether the instructors are experienced and active in the fields they teach.

To get a feel for the college environment and see the classrooms for yourself, plan a visit to tour the campus and meet faculty and staff. (With many schools, virtual tours may also be an option!) If you’re interested in online classes, the school should be able to tell you about their online student experience or offer a virtual classroom demonstration to give you a taste of what to expect from online learning.

3. How does your admissions process work?
The college admissions team will likely be your first contact with the school. They should be friendly, helpful and take the time to learn about you. Having a dedicated admissions contact to assist you is best, so that you don’t have to keep repeating your story and interests to different people.

Once admissions staff tells you about the school and answers all questions, schools typically need a completed college application and proof of prior education. Graduate programs may have more complex admissions requirements. At South University, your admissions representative will guide you in acquiring all required documents, including transcripts, at this stage.

4. How will this program fit into my life?

If convenience and flexibility are important to you, this is a must-ask question. Look for schools that are used to working with students with family and professional commitments. Search for evening and online course options. If you prefer fully online classes, find out whether you’ll be expected to attend classes at set times or on your own schedule. For example, South University’s fully online classes let you login and learn anytime, with 24/7 access to your discussion boards and course content. In addition to our fully online programs, we also offer virtual classrooms with live instruction. Plus, our on-campus classes can include online components, and students often take both in-person and online courses.

5. What will the school do to help me succeed as a student?
This question is key to being confident that your school will support you throughout your academic journey. Listen to see what student services they mention. You want things like library resources, academic advising, tutoring, faculty office hours, financial aid planning, career planning, and job search assistance. For example, at South University, all of these resources are available as well as dedicated staff to assist with everything from the admissions process through to finding and pursuing the right job for you.

Want to learn more about South University?
Explore our programs or request information on our website. You can also call 855-884-2408 for our campus programs and locations or 888-444-3404 for online programs.