By Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services
Over the last couple of months I’ve written articles advising you to avoid certain phrases in your phone calls, emails, and text messages. Things like, “I was just calling to…” and “I just wanted to check in and see…”
The words you use matter, especially when you’re trying to generate action. So do the questions you ask, especially if you’re trying to figure out why someone isn’t taking action, or why they feel a certain way about something.
Remember, the worst question you can ask a student at any stage of their college search is, “Do you have any questions?” Avoid the vanilla and be much more intentional.
Today I’ve got a bunch of examples for you. These questions can be asked over the phone, on video chat, in an email, or in some cases during a virtual visit. Most of them are geared towards undecided seniors, but a handful are also useful when communicating with juniors. Each one will give you important insights into things like a student’s decision-making process, timeline, concerns, fears, wants and needs.
- How are you feeling about your college search right now?
- How has the coronavirus affected your college plans?
- Has the coronavirus made you think about going to college closer to home?
- What’s been the hardest part about adjusting to online classes?
- What’s the biggest question you have for me when it comes to the classes you’d take here at <College Name>? (or even college classes in general)?
- With admitted student events being cancelled, what are you most disappointed to miss out on?
- What’s the most frustrating part about not being able to take college visits right now?
- What’s the biggest thing you wish colleges would talk about more right now?
- What are your parents (or family) saying about everything right now?
- What scares you the most about making your college decision?
- What’s the most important factor going to be in your college decision?
- When are you planning to make your college decision?
- Have you and your parents talked about choosing a college that costs more?
- What’s the biggest concern you have about <College Name>?
- If it comes down to two or three colleges and you like them all, how are you going to break the tie?
- What does the perfect college look like in your mind?
Two final things – Whatever you do, don’t just run through a list of questions robotically. As you’re getting feedback from the student, be sure and add something of value to the conversation. Otherwise your conversation will come off as scripted.
Also, be prepared to ask some follow-up questions based on the feedback you receive. Good luck, and let me know how it goes for you.
If today’s article was helpful, I encourage you to forward it on to a colleague that you think might also benefit from it. And if this article was forwarded on to you and it was helpful, I’d love to have you sign up for my weekly newsletter. You can do that right here at the top of this page.