The world of college admissions has taken on new challenges along with the countless other challenges that COVID-19 has brought to normal life this spring. Typically, we would have been encouraging students to attend campus visits or admissions events, whether for seniors making their final decision on which school to attend or for juniors trying to figure out which colleges to apply to. However, with campus closures, students must take a new approach to “visiting” colleges this spring.
Thankfully, technology has provided many resources for students to learn about and engage with universities virtually over the years, and the recent shutdowns have led to an even greater increase in the development and availability of those resources. Of course, nothing can compare to exploring campus in person and experiencing student life for yourself. However, many schools are offering virtual campus tours – providing 360-degree views, interactive info videos, and virtual reality experiences – to get as close to making you feel like you’re on campus as possible. To get the most out of these virtual tours, treat it as if you were actually there. Jot down some notes on what stands out to along with some questions that come up as you as you click through each part of campus.
With those questions, another really great resource is the admissions office at each university. Though many admissions offices are currently remote, admissions representatives are still available to students through email, phone calls, and even video chats for many colleges. Take advantage of the opportunities available to make a personal connection with the admissions representatives from the schools you’re interested in. They want to share as much information as possible to help you get the best picture of what life would be like attending their school. Just remember, communicate professionally with your admissions counselors, as your interactions could impact your application should you decide to apply. Use appropriate language and make sure to change out of your pajamas! Treat it the same as if you were in the admissions office meeting with them in person.
College’s social media accounts are another great way to learn more about a college. Their posts will tell you a lot about what they value, what they’re doing in response to COVID-19, along with additional resources they’re offering to prospective students during this time. Some colleges are hosting virtual “open house” programs through their website or even through Facebook Live or Instagram Live events with admissions counselors and/or current students, which could be a great opportunity to ask questions and learn about colleges through a different lens.
Regardless of which resources you choose to use during this time, let me encourage you to use this time to get started on researching colleges and building your college list! University websites are a great place to start, but if you have any questions on which online tools to use in your research or want us to put together a list of recommendations based on your academic profile and the qualities you are looking for in a college, please let us know! We’d love to help you find and be accepted into your dream school!
Until Next Time,
College Admissions Consultant