What do students really think about their school?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

What do students really think about their school?

Scott White
Director of Guidance Montclair High School

What do students really think about their school?

Most students I know are happy with their college choices.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

What do students really think about their school?

Sites such as Unigo and College Prowler are great ways to collect a students' opinions. Be careful - though -- people who go through the trouble of commenting are sometimes either really happy with their school or really unhappy. Colleges are microcosms of society in that you will find people with varying degrees of enthusiasm for their circumstances. Some people will rave about small classes. Other will complain about them. Some might bemoan the lack of faculty accessiblity -- while others will regale you about having lunch with their professors every day --- all at the same school! So -- rather than focus too much on gathering information from others -- try and get a good grasp of your opinions about a school -- based on solid research. Your opinions count more than others' when it comes to your own college experience.

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Ask the Experts

Ask them. Go to Unigo's student section and ask the experts: current college students! 

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

The real truth

It often feels difficult to learn about a college because everything seems biased. The tour guides, admissions staff, websites all put a positive spin on the campus. Yet, you know that not everything can be perfect. Check out the opinion/editorial pieces in the student paper. Hang out late at night when defenses are low and you might hear the real deal. Ask my favorite question: "If you could change anything about the school what would be it?" Read The Insider's Guide to the Colleges, written by current students of each campus. Check out student reviews on Unigo.com. Bottom line, what you think about the school is what matters.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

What do students really think about their school?

The best way to find out is to visit the school and try to talk to as many current students as possible. Read their college newspaper and listen to their college radio station. Peruse the billboards. Eavesdrop on the conversations in the coffeehouse or the cafeteria. Check out the statistics at the NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) website.

Nicholas Umphrey

Seeing through the fog

When you get a college tour, in all honesty, it is usually by an admissions rep who is paid to be cheery and say how great their school is or a student ambassador who is the overly positive kid in school who follows suit. A parent gave me this tip once and I thought it was brilliant. Do the tour, but keep an open mind. After the tour hang out at a local student hang out like a coffee house or pizza place. Observe the students hanging out and the mood they project. If they are as excited as the Ewoks were when the Death Star blew up, then it is a good place. Don't be afraid to ask these students casually about their experience in that school. This is authentic feedback from regular college students who you will be amongst.

Tam Warner Minton
Consultant College Adventures

Current students in college

Ask them! You'll find college students in Facebook groups such as xxx college class of 2013. You'll find them on Youtube. When you visit, talk to the students on your own and ask them!

Mollie Reznick
Associate Director The College Connection

All you have to do is ask

The only way to know the answer to this is simply to *ask*. I wouldn't necessarily ask your tour guide or students who work in admissions as they are paid to represent their school. Go in to the student center or dining halls and try to chat up students and find out what their favorite and least favorite things are about their school; they will likely give you a candid response.

Geoff Broome
Assistant Director of Admissions Widener University

just ask

visit schools and ask them. eat in the caf and pull a student aside and ask them. Often times, college websites will have a link under their admissions page to ask students a question. See if the school that you are looking at has one?

Cheryl Millington

What do students really think about their school?

Essentially you have to ask specific questions to really discover what students really think about their school. For example, if you ask a general question, do you like your school? You’ll get a general answer. But if you ask specific questions about faculty, programs, residence, etc. you’ll likely to get at what they really think about their school.