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How to Choose the University Without a Tour?

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, traditional college tours for future students are impossible. However, there are some ways to bypass the circumstances and continue your enrollment process.

All over the US, schools are shut down, and higher educational institutions transformed the learning process into online classes. While students can study online, applicants cannot conduct a traditional part of the enrollment process, college tours, which are usually held during the spring break.

The situation is changing rapidly, so it is pivotal to check every college. Nevertheless, the majority of them have canceled the opportunity for visits, not excluding additional events and overnight stays. Taking into account quarantine and coronavirus progression, the chances that the situation will change are low. Most likely, future students will not be able to visit the chosen colleges to get a better understanding of where they are investing money and will be spending the next year. High schoolers have lost the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of making a decision before the deadline for the first deposit on May 1.

Deciding on your university is stressful enough. The 2020 restrictions are only increasing frustration with the admission process. Parents of future students are trying to lift young people’s spirits and keep them motivated. Parents are making lists of advantages and disadvantages of every college, attempting to help teenagers choose a school remotely. Considering public health problems, among the common factors like financial aid and extracurricular activities, distance from home is becoming a potent factor of the final decision.

Here are some ways that students can collect the missing information to see the whole picture of the chosen universities while following social distancing rules.

Ask Counselors

Despite school shutdowns, any high school counselor will be happy to help you get to know the college better and make the final decision without visiting them in person.

Also, the admission office of the college that you are dreaming of might be closed for students. Nevertheless, it does not mean that they are not working at all. Colleges need to attract prospective students, so they are trying to make up for the canceled college tours.

The director of admission at Williams College assured that the department is doing its best to offer an alternative way to get to know the college. Sulgi Lim said that the admission counselors are answering phone calls to consult future students. Furthermore, on the Williams website, there is the opportunity to read stories of current students to get a grasp of their experience at the college. Communication between current and future students is also encouraged: when adhering to social distancing directives, students can communicate via email.

The admission department at the University of Washington is trying to compensate for the canceled tours by organizing appointments via Zoom and phone. Paul A. Seegert, the director of admissions, said that, in the nearest future, tour guides would be able to talk with future students online.

Cate Granger Zolkos, the dean of admission at Amherst College, is deeply disappointed with the situation and restrictions. She said that she would love to welcome potential students in this warm season, which is the best time for tours.

Ms. Zolkos stated that the university would enroll all 473 students as planned. The admission department invites teens to get to know campus life by taking a virtual tour and reading students’ blogs.

At Ohio State University, tours and other events planned for April 20 have been canceled. Beth A. Wiser, the executive director of undergraduate admission, notified that the department’s office is still operating to greet future students. Virtual sessions are now in progress, and the admission staff is looking forward to enabling in-person visits to introduce the university to prospective applicants.

Technology as a Connection

For honest reviews and feedback, you can use social media. Via Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, you can find alumni and currents students. You can chat with them via messengers and Skype or even arrange a phone. Surely, it takes more time and effort to do it all on your own. A big advantage is that you will get a sincere and unbiased opinion. Such information might be more useful than that from the official website.

A Virtual Tour

Using VR technologies or videos, the majority of universities provide virtual tours. Moreover, following schools in social media and having access to newspapers and blogs are great ways to find out more about the on-campus vibe.

While juniors have some time to think, seniors have to make a choice now, using limited data available online. Sometimes students just have to listen to their gut to understand where they would be the best fit.

Source: NY Times

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