Making the Most of a Virtual College Visit 

Dreaming Spires (Photo: Pexels-Pixabay)

If in-person campus tours will be virtual rather than real for this year’s soon-to-be-rising seniors, how can students get a true sense of the schools of their choice? 

Colleges and universities have begun offering virtual tours, information sessions, and events, offering both live and on-demand content. Students should make the most of these opportunities to connect with admissions representatives, students, and faculty, to ask their questions.  

Here are some suggestions: 

  • What are the key criteria in your college search? Define and ask about the aspects of a university experience you value most.  
  • Consider not just the location of an institution, but also internship access, social and cultural activities, and how your surroundings may impact your overall college experience.  
  • Look at the student-to-faculty ratio, and also the accomplishments and instructional approaches of faculty members in your intended field.  
  • Consider the alumni connected to the school. Where are they located, in what industries do they operate, and how might they be leveraged for future career opportunities? 
  • In addition to the facts and figures important to your decision, use virtual events and social media to get a sense of how it may feel to be a part of this community. 

Students should also use guidance counselors or outside college advisors in this complex process, to help them engage with the information and form their own opinions, all part of selecting their best-fitting school. And perhaps with this approach the road to college will become a little easier to navigate. After all, why should a single tour guide be the end all/be all in shaping a student’s perception of an institution?

Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D. is an educator and founder of Novella Prep. He has 20 years of university experience in admissions, development, teaching, and research. Contact him at tony@novellaprep.com

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About the Author: Tony Di Giacomo, Ph.D.