Gwynedd Mercy University to Prospective Enrollees: Remember the ABCs, Ask before Committing

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students walking
Image via Gwynedd Mercy University.
Aimee Huffstetler AVP of Enrollment, Gwynedd Mercy University, provides a detailed list of questions prospective students should be asking, either on campus visits or beforehand.

As discussed in Part 1 of Gwynedd Mercy University’s recommendations for students visiting a college or university for the first time, the process may seem overwhelming. In Part 2, Aimee Huffstetler, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment, Gwynedd Mercy University, provides a list of topic-specific questions that will help students and their families when visiting colleges.

For high schoolers and their families, college or university visitation days can easily become a blur of enrollment data, presentations on academics, info on campus amenities, run-throughs of clubs and activities, overviews of tuition costs and financial aid, quick tours, cafeteria lunches, receipt of a branded swag bag, and fond farewells.

Before high school juniors, seniors, and parents are even aware of what’s going on, they’re often back in the car with no clear direction about a school’s particular fit or not.

Huffstetler’s recommended queries — derived from 10+ years’ experience — can make onsite visitations more fruitful.

Admissions/Financial Aid

  • Do you require applicants to submit SAT/ACT scores to be considered for admission? Are there any benefits of submitting scores? Does the school “super-score” the SAT/ACT, that is take a student’s best reading and math scores and combine them for a best overall score?
    • For future nursing majors: Do you require the TEAS test for admissions to the nursing program?
  • What are the admissions criteria for direct entry into a particular major?
  • In addition to need-based scholarships (those awarded on the basis of household finances), what other types of scholarships are offered?
  • Does the school offer free help for completing required financial aid paperwork?

General

  • What support services are offered to students? (e.g., career center, tutoring, counseling, etc.). Do they cost extra? Is there a limit on how often students can access them?
  • How diverse is the student population?
  • What does the college/university do to make people from all different backgrounds feel welcome and supported on campus?
  • Are freshman permitted to have cars on campus? If not, when does it become allowable?

Campus Life

  • Can students work on campus? What are the details?
  • What sports are available? How do students balance sports with classes and other academic engagements such as internships, clinicals, and student-teaching?
  • What clubs/organizations/honors associations are on campus? What level of commitment do they require, and how does participation affect an individual class schedule?
  • How many students live on campus? What’s it like to live on campus?
  • How committed is the university to providing opportunities for students to engage in service-related activities?

Majors, Minors and Classes

  • What are the opportunities hands-on learning in a chosen major?
  • What does a full-time schedule look like for a particular major?
  • What are the internship, clinical experiences, and student-teaching school opportunities for students in applicable majors?
  • What is the process of adding a minor, and what is its effect on a student’s schedule?

Real-World Experience

  • How does the university relate coursework to the real world?
  • How does the university prepare students to get a job in a specific field?
  • What are some jobs landed by alumni in a specific major?

“After working in admissions for more than a decade, I can safely say that my number-one tip for figuring out which college is right for you is to visit,” said Huffstetler.

“By asking these questions, you will quickly find your new home away from home.”

The Gwynedd Mercy University website has a more in-depth look at getting the most from a college or university visit.

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