When college campuses closed to visitors during the pandemic, admissions offices brainstormed different ways to connect with students, and thus the “virtual visit” was born. Two years later, by all accounts, this has been a win-win for both high school students and colleges around the country!
- Students are able to learn about programs and see a college’s campus from their own homes, and
- Colleges can engage with many more – and a broader range of – students remotely as compared to in-person campus tours and information sessions
Virtual visits are here to stay and are now an important facet of the college admissions process. Colleges like the University of Pennsylvania have greatly diminished their in-person visit opportunities and are utilizing mostly virtual opportunities to engage with potential students. More importantly, parents no longer have to travel across the country so their child can “get a feel” for a school they are considering.
As we discuss college criteria and list building with your children, we are emphasizing the importance of “engagement” with schools on their list. This can include registering for virtual visits, emailing admissions representatives with any questions, and opening emails from all the schools they are considering.
We also encourage them to take advantage of all that a college may have to offer in terms of virtual opportunities. Some options could include:
- taking a live online or self-guided tour of a campus,
- listening to an information session that provides general information about the school
- watching recorded presentations about different aspects of campus life
- listening to a webinar pertaining to the major or program they are interested in
- sitting in on a virtual class to get a feel for what it’s like to be a real college student
- learning about student life and residence halls through student vlogs
With college campuses opening up to visitors again, that doesn’t mean virtual visits are no longer necessary. In fact, the opposite is true! As many of you go to visit colleges, encourage your children to use a virtual visit as a “pre-visit” exercise so they can get to know as much as possible about the school before walking around the campus. We promise you, information will “sink in” better after a virtual visit!