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What questions should you ask a private school?

Last updated: 
October 11, 2023

You always want to go into private school admissions interviews prepared to ask questions about the school. 

What questions should students ask? 

As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a bad question, but to use the interview time wisely and make a positive impression, student questions should achieve the following:

  1. Show your interest in the school. Admission officers are impressed when you do your research and ask questions beyond what you could have learned on the school’s website. For example, instead of asking, “Do you have a chess club?” Say something like, “I see you have a chess club. I love chess! Do they ever go to tournaments outside of school?”
  2. Answer your questions. At the risk of stating the obvious, ask questions that you have. The interview is your opportunity to get to know the school better, and when you ask questions that align with your interests, it shows maturity and helps the admissions officer get to know you better.

The following sample questions will help you brainstorm what to ask:

  • What does your school do for new student orientation? How do you support students in the transition to a new school?
  • What does a typical school day look like?
  • What is student life like on the weekends?
  • What is the student culture like at your school?
  • Where do students come from? How diverse are the student body and faculty?
  • What is the experience and achievements of your faculty?
  • I’m really into [name an activity]. How can the school support my interest?
  • How many students participate in [name an activity]?
  • What opportunities are available to personalize learning?
  • Does learning take place outside of the classroom?
  • I noticed your school has a lot of traditions. What tradition do students get most excited about?
  • How is the college counseling program structured? What can I expect for support?
  • What does your school do for career exploration?

What questions should parents ask? 

While students typically focus their questions on student life and their experience at the school, parent questions tend to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. As a parent, you likely have questions about the application process, financial aid requirements, graduation requirements, advising, dorm supervision, and security. Review our 29 Parent Interview Questions to Better Evaluate Private Schools for a breakdown of suggested questions.

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