Make the Most of Virtual Visits at Colleges
With all the changes and restrictions this year, you’ll want to be sure to make the most of virtual visits at colleges. Private schools and colleges alike have had to pivot their admissions procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now several months into the virtual admissions process, most schools are continuing to focus on online admissions events, virtual tours and programming.
Applying to colleges and universities is already stressful enough, but not being able to visit campuses or sit in on classes can make the process all the more difficult. If you’re worried you’re not making the right decisions or aren’t finding enough information on the colleges and universities of your choice, be sure to continue digging into what each college is doing online to combat the difficulties of the pandemic.
See if virtual tours or events are being offered
Each school will have a different approach to catering to students’ needs during the pandemic. Between virtual tours and admissions sessions, you’ll want to make sure you check out the admission pages on the website to view a complete list of events that you can attend.
Attending these events will not only serve you well during the application process and rule out if you’re interested in attending a specific college or not, but will also help you in the admissions process if it is a college that tracks demonstrated interest.
Check out the tips below from Presentation High School for making the most of online college admission events.
Ask the right questions
Before you attend admissions events, or before you send an email to admissions counselors, you’ll want to make sure you have prepared a list of questions. Virtual programming events and virtual tours are the best way to have your queries addressed in real time. You’ll regret not thinking ahead if you don’t come up with questions that are on the top of your mind right now. Remember, no question is a stupid question! Use these opportunities to your own advantage.
See how your college counselors can support you and aid you further in the application process if you are confused or feel like you don’t know what steps you should be following. College counseling can also be helpful in making sure that you are meeting the proper graduation requirements and taking the right courses that colleges expect to see on your transcript.
Check out some of the best questions to ask college admissions counselors.
Pay attention to the current students
When you meet or encounter students at a college you are interested in, you should try to see if you envision yourself being in their shoes. Do they seem like individuals you would be friends with? Who are they? What are they involved in? What do they like and dislike about the school? How has their experience been navigating covid and what has been their college’s response?
Current students can reflect the type of community established at a college or university and are often very telling if the school is the right fit for you. If you have the opportunity to speak with a student one-on-one about their unique experiences, definitely do so!
Pre-COVID, you could tour a college and see lots of students to talk with, but now you may have the opportunity to attend virtual visits at colleges. Speak with the college admissions team to see if there is a student you can contact, whether a tour guide (they may not be offering in-person tours, but they are still great resources for information) or a student who has a major or program that interests you.
Don’t ghost the school after having attended an event or interview. Follow up through email or a phone call. Reach out to admissions representatives and send a thank you email to the admissions office for their time and the opportunity to participate in virtual programming.
Explore the website and social media accounts
If you’re unable to attend virtual events, or just want more information on a college or university, dig around on their website and social media channels for further investigation. Learning about specific programs, opportunities, clubs, organizations, courses, and more will give you more insight about what the next 4-years may look like for you.
Researching a college before writing any college-specific tailored essays can be reflected well upon you as admissions counselors review your application. Even better, if you’re able to name specific courses that you’d be interested in taking, or professors that are performing research you’d like to get involved in, admissions counselors will realize that you are truly interested in attending their college. Making your college essays as specific as possible to each individual school will help your application stand out.
As we continue to adapt to virtual communication and virtual visits at colleges, keep in mind that we’re all in the same boat! Don’t be discouraged by the nature of the current state, and try to remember that colleges and universities are here to support you during the process.
- College Admissions
- Virtual Tour