Questions to Ask a Prospective College or University
You’ve narrowed down your list of dream schools—now it’s time to visit the campuses and see for yourself what they’re like.
If time allows, it’s wise to schedule meetings with the following departments. This will help you learn the specifics of how each school addresses food allergies (phone calls also work).
Get the most out of these conversations by writing down your questions in advance. FARE's list of sample questions will help get you started.
- Do you understand that food allergy accommodations may fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
- Does the school have a comprehensive food allergy policy in place?
- Will you coordinate my accommodations and emergency care plan with other relevant departments, including housing, dining and health services?
- What emergency procedures are in place in case of an anaphylactic reaction? If needed, will staff give epinephrine?
- What documentation do I need for accommodation requests?
- How do you accommodate your current students with food allergies?
- Will I be required to live on campus and eat in the dining halls?
- Can I tour the dining facility during normal service hours? (This will help you see how the dining hall functions during busier times.)
- Has the dining staff undergone any food allergy training, including how to recognize anaphylaxis? Are there ongoing training reminders?
- What are the emergency procedures in your dining facilities?
- Do staff take steps to avoid food cross-contact?
- How are food allergies handled for special events like dorm parties?
- How can students access allergen information for the menus? Are ingredients listed online, in the dining hall or available by request?
- Who is the designated person in the dining hall who will answer my questions about food allergies?
- Does the school have the resources to offer the housing accommodations I need?
- Do you have a MicroFridge rental program? (This combination microwave, refrigerator and freezer can make it easier for you to store food safely and prepare your own meals.)
- Will my resident advisor (RA) be trained on food allergies, signs of an allergic reaction, emergency procedures and how to administer epinephrine?
- Will the school allow my RA to administer my epinephrine in case of an emergency?
- Will the school educate other students living in the dorms about the symptoms and treatment for an allergic reaction?
- How will my food accommodations be handled at special events like student orientation and dorm celebrations?
- Where is the nearest hospital? How long does it typically take to get there from campus?
- What food allergy training do campus police or security have? Do they have access to epinephrine auto-injectors as a back-up to those students may carry?
- Can you put me in touch with the local EMS provider if I have more questions?
What to Read Next
Before you decide on a college or university, plan to do your research, visit the school and ask questions about food allergy accommodations.