College Visit Cancelled? Here’s What to Do Instead
Generally speaking, the start of spring is a prime time for college tours, as many students schedule campus visits during their spring break. However, the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting plans dramatically, as a number of colleges are cancelling large gatherings, including campus tours.
Campus visits are a unique opportunity for students to envision themselves at their potential best-fit institutions, but they are far from the only way to learn about different colleges. Keep reading to learn about how you can become an expert on the universities you are considering, no campus visits required.
While taking a stroll around the quad may be off limits for the time being, many colleges provide prospective applicants a sneak peak of their campuses through virtual tours. Plenty of universities create their own digital experiences and post them on their websites for students to peruse. Additionally, websites such as YouVisit have over 600 digital college tours, all of which are free and include a virtual tour guide filled with facts. There are a number of college offering virtual information sessions and visits in response to coronavirus closures, so check with individual schools to see what they have to offer. Here’s a list of schools that offer virtual tours and where to find them.
Check Out Social Media
Social media isn’t just for keeping up with your friends; it can also be a valuable way to learn more about the schools you are considering from a different vantage point. In addition to keeping tabs on campus-wide feeds and profiles, be sure to check out accounts dedicated to your specific interests and passions. Consider following accounts for majors you are interested in as well as specialized programs that relate to your passions.
Do Your Reading
Strive to get your hands on as much information about each college of interest as possible. Don’t just skim a university website; instead, take time to carefully read about majors and minors offered, noteworthy faculty, and extracurricular activities and organizations that relate to your interests and goals. In addition to reviewing a college’s official website, look out for recent media coverage about the school to stay updated on what is happening on campus. Search for blogs written by current and former students to gain a first-hand perspective on what it feels like to attend a specific college.
Phone a Friend
This may not always be possible, but students should take advantage of their network to learn more about the colleges they are considering. If you have a friend or sibling who is currently enrolled at a college that you are interested in, see if it would be possible to arrange a date to FaceTime with them. Prepare a list of questions to ask about the campus, academic opportunities, and extracurricular offerings to get a well-rounded perspective of the school and what is available.
At the end of the day, students should prioritize schools that have opportunities that align with their goals and passions. College tours are certainly one way to learn about different activities and events on campus, but luckily there are many other resources that can provide valuable information. Most colleges have a designated careers center on their website, designed to help students find jobs and internships. Review this resource and evaluate the opportunities you see listed. Take note of which schools have a multitude of learning experiences that appeal to you and prioritize these institutions throughout your college search and review process.
While college tours are an exciting chance for students to literally picture themselves on campus, there are plenty of other options for prospective applicants who are currently facing restrictions due to coronavirus concerns. If you are looking for additional information on compiling a list of best-fit universities that align with your needs and goals, get in touch with our team of college admissions experts.