Life and Support Services

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Questions to Ask About Life and Support Services

Student writing notes and studying outside

How do I find the institution right for me?

Learn about a college or university's culture. Explore the questions posed by the New York Times.

Be sure to look into your interests.  Ask: What organizations or clubs at the college or universities might fit my interests?



College student with books, a backpack and earphonesWhat types of services are available to support me (academic advising, mental health counseling, food bank, housing, childcare, tutoring, career services)?

Check to see what is available, the hours they are offered and if there are additional charges.  Many institutions offer free options to help students be successful.  Your success at a particular college or university may depend upon the services and support offered and how easy it is to access that support.

Student in a research lab looking through a microscopeIs there access to practices, like first year seminars, e-portfolios, capstone courses, student research opportunities, and study abroad?

Research shows that colleges and universities that provide students with opportunities to engage in practices that have a high impact on learning promote greater student success. The Association of American Colleges and Universities has promoted this research and these practices.

Sources and Information:

Association of American Colleges and Universities

Microphone in a classroomWhat opportunities for student voice in the governing of the institution are available, i.e., student governance?

Academic culture often reflects the value of considering multiple perspectives including that of students themselves, often in service to the goal of preparing students to be informed citizens in a vibrant democracy. If you have an interest in the overall governance of your college or university, it will be important to ask questions about these opportunities for offering your voice.

Sources and information:

American Student Government Association

Student lacing up sports shoesHow do I find out if I can participate in athletics?

By expressing interest in competing on some of the teams, coaches may contact you to explain the athletic programs and opportunities.  Make sure to find out how you can still complete your studies and compete.  Many institutions offer additional support services to make sure athletes maintain good grades.

Student looking upHow will my rights as a student be considered and upheld? Where do I go and what do I do if I believe they have not been?

Colleges and universities must provide students with the ability to bring grievances or complaints to the administration to be addressed. Ask your institution about the processes for addressing issues of student rights. Information is usually posted in the Student Catalog/Handbook.

Close up of a student's hands holding a mobile phoneHow will the school communicate with me in emergency situations like extreme weather, active shooter, security breaches, etc.?

The ability of an institution to communicate with students and to act quickly in an emergency is vital and can literally save lives in these increasingly more common situations.

In addition, colleges and universities are obligated to publish an Annual Security Report because of the Clery Act.

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