A school’s alumni network—that is, the huge number of graduates who have gone on to do amazing things with their degrees—is an often overlooked asset colleges have to offer. These are people who have been where you are now, found their own reason to attend the college you’re considering, and can help you understand what made their journey successful.
(And while we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, making connections with fellow alumni is a great way to network in your career after you graduate in a few years.)
Your school’s admissions representatives can likely put you in touch with alumni, including those in your area of study if you know what you want to major in.
Not sure what to ask? We’ve got you covered.
- Why did you choose this school?
- What did you think about your professors?
- Were there any that stood out?
- Did you develop close relationships with your professors?
- Were there any “duds?”
- What were the most useful classes you took?
- What were the most fun classes you took?
- How did this school help prepare you for your current career?
- What was your experience like getting a job after you graduated?
- Did you use any of the school’s on-campus career services?
- Did you find a job right away?
- When you were interviewing for your first job out of college, what experiences at this school did you talk about?
- Group projects?
- Were you involved in any student organizations or clubs? Or athletics?
- What’s your advice for a student considering this school?
- If I do choose this school, what advice do you have for my freshman year?
If you do talk to alumni, don’t forget to send a follow-up thank you email letting them know you appreciate them taking the time to talk with you. It’s good practice for networking, and it’s also just plain polite.
Looking for more information on how to ask the right questions when researching colleges? Be sure to download the 20 Questions to Ask Before Applying to College eBook!