First Steps


Questions to Ask

In advance of meeting with college representatives, you can do some research by studying the institution’s website. The federal government also provides a useful source on all higher education institutions. In doing your research, it is strongly recommended you look for institutional outcomes, covering such areas graduation rates, workforce placement, likelihood of using the credential earned to advance yourself in the job market, etc.

There are many opportunities to learn about institutions through official websites, brochures, social media and more. It is worth a prospective student’s time to visit them, one example is The College Tour.


Sources and Information

College Scorecard

The College Tour

Student sitting on the steps of a school working on a laptop computer


Questions to Ask about Your Goals and Intents for College

First ask: I would like to discuss my goals in attending college and would like to know how your college will help me fulfill them.

Discuss these goals with college admissions staff, sometimes called enrollment managers or student success guides. You can also help clarify your intent by asking for appointments with others on campus who can help you, including faculty. In cases where these individuals cannot answer your questions, be sure to keep a list of any unanswered questions and ask for appropriate referrals.

  1. What is the difference between a degree and a certificate?

  2. What do I want to be able to do once I complete my degree or certificate?

  3. What are the time commitments?

  4. What are the documented potential earning outcomes by program?

  5. What are the graduation rates of the institution?

  6. What are the job placement statistics of the college’s programs?

  7. What is the earning potential of the credential in which I want to enroll?

  8. What is the admissions process?

  9. What do I need to do to apply?

  10. What are the deadlines?

  11. Is there a cost for applications?

  12. When will I find out about the decision on my admission?

  13. Does the college have “early admission” paths, and if so, how does it work?

Sources and Information

Listing of credentials from Credential Engine