By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
1 minute read
The best questions you can ask prospective students will open the door and give them ‘permission’ to provide you with context about their mindset and feelings.
Along with that it’s important to keep in mind that as humans it’s much easier for us to talk about what we don’t want or why we don’t like something compared to generic positive questions like, “So what are you looking for in a college?”
In both your upcoming conversations and your future messages, I encourage you to also ask questions that are based in the negative.
That kind of information is extremely valuable for both admissions counselors and enrollment marketers.
Here are three situational examples, plus a couple other questions you can utilize:
- After a student visits campus, ask “Now that you’ve seen campus, what’s one thing you wish you could change about our school?”
- When you talk with a student at a college fair or their high school, or you get a new inquiry, ask “Tell me about the wrong type of college for you. What kinds of schools have you eliminated from your list?”
- Ask an admitted student, “If you were going to pick another college at the end of this process, what do you see being the #1 reason you’d end up doing that?”
- “What’s the biggest concern you have about… (our location, the dorms the food, the classroom environment)?”
- “What’s the wrong way for a college to communicate with you?”
After the student answers, thank them for sharing their honest feedback. It’s vital that they feel like there are no penalties for being open, because you want them to keep being honest with you moving forward.
Also, don’t be surprised if a student struggles to verbalize their thoughts because they’re not used to get asking a question like that. Be prepared to lead the conversation further by telling the student what you think they might be thinking (i.e. what other students have said or told you). Then ask them if they agree or disagree (and why).
Want to talk more about something I said in this article? I’m happy to connect. Simply reply back, or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.