Choosing Your College While Campuses Are Closed
Last updated March 1, 2021
College campuses across the U.S. have closed due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. This throws a wrench in the college planning process for the many students for whom visiting a campus before making a decision about where to attend college is a crucial step.
Here are three ways you can gain information about prospective colleges from home to help you make a decision about where to attend.
Try virtual tours
If you’re interested in learning more about the layout of your campus, virtual tours are a solid option. Most universities now offer them. Virtual tours are videos, slideshows, and sometimes even interactive 3d experiences walking you through the entire campus.
- Check out NACAC's exhaustive list of nearly every virtual college tour happening in the US!
- YouVisit also offers 360 degree virtual tours of many campuses
- CampusReel.org has short student-made clips of their campuses
- CampusTours has interactive campus maps
- You can also visit your college's YouTube page or admissions page for additional resources.
Admissions offices at campuses are offering “office hours” to meet and ask questions virtually.
Curious about programs, or want to get connected to alumni or current undergrads at a college you’re thinking about attending? At many colleges, the admissions office is scheduling virtual “office hours” to answer prospective students questions during this crisis. Check you college’s admissions page and see if you can take advantage.
Join a Facebook group of recently admitted or current students at the colleges you’re considering
Most colleges have active Facebook groups for prospective classes. Search “[The college you’re interested in] class of 2024” and you’ll find them! Students are candid, informative, and supportive in these groups. As an added bonus, they’re usually moderated by an alumni or current upper-classmen!
Some colleges are offering the chance to virtually sit-in on a class
See if the colleges you are considering will let you take a backseat and observe classes being conducted online. This is an awesome opportunity to what courses are like in your field(s) of interest.
Don’t forget that financial aid packages are a huge part of the decision. As you’re considering colleges and gathering information, check out this guide on how to compare and understand financial aid packages.
Watch vlogs made by college students
Go to YouTube and do a search for the college you are interested in, "[college name] + vlog". Many students are documenting their college experiences online and showing what a typical day is for them. Some answer questions in the comments section or have created an FAQ video to address popular questions they get.
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