How to Visit Colleges Virtually (Updated May 2020)
May 17, 2020
The best college essays, applications, and interviews come from strong, thorough research into that college and clarity about The absolute best way to get to know a college, its culture, and what makes it unique is to attend a campus tour.
- Campus tours allow students to meet meet directly with admissions staff, current faculty and students. Some tours can be customized to include classroom visits so that applicants can drop-in on classes of interest that may be related to a potential future major. In some cases, applicants can book an overnight stay in the dormitory with a senior student to get a more authentic mini-college experience. Such opportunities allow applicants to taste the food in the dining hall or get a feel for how "woke" a campus might be. If the campus is full of students wearing boat shoes and polo shirts but you prefer sandals and t-shirts, you will be able to determine a level of "fit" that goes beyond the glossy brochures and professionally designed websites.
- However, due to quarantine and distance, it's not always possible to visit before submitting applications. Luckily, there are now new ways for students to virtually visit a campus. Here are some "virtual visit" steps that students–and parents–can utilize:
- Go to YouVisit.com and search for a college from your college list. Enjoy a virtual tour!
- Go to Strive Scan's spreadsheet with virtual tour information.
- Google the full name of the college and the word "visit" or "admissions". Proceed to the official college's web pages about visiting campus virtually and new changes to admissions procedures.
- On the college's official "visit" or "admissions" page, book a live virtual session or tour. Live virtual sessions with the Admissions Department are typically conducted on Zoom or a similar platform and include a short presentation about the college from staff, faculty, and current students; live sessions are typically followed by a Q&A session. In some cases, a live tour is also included.
- Write down at least 3-5 specific questions that most closely address your [the student's] concerns about academic support, application requirements, internship and co-op programs, study abroad programs, possible majors, and anything else you might want to learn more about. Be prepared to ask at least one of your 3-5 questions during your virtual session.
- Students are strongly advised to email or call Admissions at each college on your list to ask your questions. If you can not find a virtual session for a college on your list, call them! They love when students reach out to ask questions.
- Tune into colleges' official YouTube channels and social media.
- Use non-class weekdays to plan virtual visits and make the most of all your free time during quarantine!