Choosing a college is a big decision that you shouldn’t rush through. While you should ideally visit colleges in person, that’s not always possible, such as if you’re considering a school in a different part of the country. When you can’t visit colleges in person, you can still make sure you choose the best one for your education and career goals.
More and more colleges are offering ways for prospective students to visit virtually in order to learn more about the campus, student life, and degree programs. From campus tours to the latest school news, there are many virtual ways to choose a college that fits your needs and goals.
If you’re in the process of comparing different colleges and can’t visit them in person, make the most of online tools and resources. You’ll find that many colleges are providing virtual tours, open houses, and other virtual and online ways for prospective students to gather as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision. Keep the following tips in mind on how to choose a college virtually.
Tips to Choose a College Virtually
1. Check Out School Websites
The first place to go for information about a college is its website. Take time to explore these school websites. They can provide you with a ton of information on what programs are offered, how the campus is set up, and what kinds of clubs and extracurricular activities are available. School websites can also provide you with information on upcoming events or annual events the school holds, which can give you an idea of what student life is like.
When you look around for information on school websites, you should also check for details on the admissions process, tuition, financial aid, and other practical matters. You can also find out if the school has won any acknowledgments or awards, which can help you determine whether or not you’re likely to get a high-quality education if you go there. Plan on spending time browsing through entire websites so you can get the information you need about each school before choosing one. If you have a long list of schools you’re considering, keep in mind that a quick glance at each website can help you see if the degree program you want is offered. This can help you quickly narrow down your options.
2. Go for a Virtual Tour
You might not be able to walk around a college campus in person, but you can learn plenty about it by going on a virtual tour. Many colleges now offer these online tours, which allow prospective students to virtually visit different parts of the campus and meet faculty and staff. When you take a virtual tour of a college, you might be able to see classrooms in different buildings, as well as dorms and other areas of the campus. This allows you to see what the campus is like in order to determine if it meets your preferences. For example, you can easily see if a college has a smaller campus with a lower teacher-to-student ratio or a much larger campus with bigger classes.
Virtual tours sometimes feature interviews with faculty and staff along with students. This gives you a chance to hear more about what the school has to offer and get to know some of the faces you might see when you go to classes in person. Keep in mind that you can always get in touch with the school if you’re unable to find a virtual tour link on their website or social media accounts.
3. Schedule a Virtual Meeting with Admissions Counselors
Admissions counselors or representatives provide you with valuable advice on what kinds of requirements you’ll need to meet in order to be considered for acceptance to a particular school. These counselors can answer questions you have about the admissions process, such as what the minimum ACT or SAT scores are or when the next deadline is for applying. You can also ask about housing on campus and what kinds of financial aid resources are available. To get the most out of these meetings, make sure you come up with a list of questions to ask or topics to discuss ahead of time.
You don’t have to meet with an admissions counselor in person to get this kind of help. Instead, you can arrange to have a virtual meeting with one, such as through a video chat. This allows you to meet with an admissions counselor at your convenience and go over your college options and admissions requirements without having to worry about setting up an in-person meeting. These meetings can help you narrow down your options for college and make a wise and informed choice about which school to attend.
4. Check Out Schools’ Social Media Profiles
Social media profiles can provide you with plenty of information on a school. You can discover the latest campus or school news, learn about upcoming events, and watch videos featuring interviews with faculty, staff, and students. You might also find videos or posts about past events that the school has had, which can give you an idea of what to expect if you go there. Browsing through a school’s social media profiles can also help you gather more information about specific topics you’re interested in, such as the kinds of organizations or athletic activities the school offers.
Many colleges have at least one social media profile set, such as an account on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram. Take time to browse through these profiles in order to learn more about different colleges. Keep in mind that you can follow these profiles. That way you’ll know when they add or post new content. This helps ensure that you won’t miss out on the latest news and information about schools you’re interested in. Social media profiles might also give you a chance to post comments or questions about a school that staff will respond to. Keep your questions and comments positive in order to not reflect poorly or impact your future opportunities.
5. Connect with Current Students or Alumni
Talking to current students or alumni is a great way to find out what a school has to offer in terms of campus life. Students and alumni can let you know what a certain degree program is like or what kinds of activities and organizations to consider doing or joining to make the most of your college experience.
How can you get in touch with current students or alumni? You can contact the alumni office at the schools that interest you or browse through LinkedIn to find alumni from a certain school. You might also be able to get in touch with students or alumni by asking friends or family if they know anyone who attends or did attend a particular school. If you do connect with students or alumni online, have a list of questions handy to ask them about the school and thank them for their time and assistance.
6. Subscribe to Emails
Browsing through a school’s website can be a good source of information, but it’s important to stay updated on the latest news. You might not come across this information or be aware of it if you only visit a website once or twice. You can stay up to date on school information and news by signing up for emails. These emails often contain important information about the school, such as reminders about upcoming application deadlines or changes in faculty or degree programs.
When you subscribe to a school’s emails, you don’t have to worry about remembering to check the website or social media profiles on a regular basis. Instead, you’ll receive emails automatically with information that can help you make a decision on whether or not you want to choose that institution for your higher education. For example, you might find out that a school is going to be adding a new degree program that you’re interested in pursuing.
7. Read Student and Alumni Testimonials
Gathering information about schools from websites can help you learn more about them, but these details might not help you determine what to expect as a student. Reading through student and alumni testimonials on school websites and social media profiles can help you get a better understanding of what campus and academic life is like at a certain school. These testimonials often contain detailed information on what to expect from degree programs or what it’s like to be involved in different extracurricular activities.
Keep in mind that you might see both positive and negative information about schools. Don’t let a negative testimonial stop you from considering a school, especially if there are plenty of positive ones. Reading through a wide range of testimonials can give you a more balanced view of what to expect from a particular school. Pay close attention to testimonials from students or alumni who are taking or have taken the degree program you’re interested in.
If you’re going through your college options, consider Post University. We encourage you to visit us online in order to take a virtual tour, find out more about our admissions process, and learn more about what we have to offer in terms of degree programs.
Thank you for reading! The views and information provided in this post do not reflect Post University programs and/or outcomes directly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, you can find a complete list of our programs on our website or reach out directly!