What if you can’t visit a school?

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Our Counselors Answered:

What if you can’t visit a school?

Eric FurdaDean of AdmissionsUniversity of Pennsylvania

What if you can’t visit a school?

Here is my video response to the question.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

online tour and college fair

students should establish contact and communication with colleges to show strong interests. there are social networks and online tools, fairs, and on location college fairs that students can register and participant.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

online tour and college fair

students should establish contact and communication with colleges to show strong interests. there are social networks and online tools, fairs, and on location college fairs that students can register and participant.

Patty GibbsVice President for Student Affiars & Dean of StudentsWesleyan College

The Visit!

If you can’t visit, which many people can’t, ask your admission counselor if you can talk to a current student with similar interests. Get her e-mail address or Facebook her. There are many ways to connect and learn about a college you are interested in, but can’t visit.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you can’t visit a school in person — you can still visit a school’s website and get tons of information about it. You can access virtual campus tours, speak to student ambassadors, and obtain extensive and up to date news and developments about the college community. In addition to studying schools’ websites, you can also obtain student perspectives on colleges by going on sites such as Unigo and College Prowler. You can also make sure to contact the admissions offices of the schools in which you are interested to find out if and when admissions officers will be coming to your region for school visits and college fairs. In this day and age when colleges are broadening their search for students — many will come to you!

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

Reach out to them in other ways!

Visiting colleges will provide you with the best sense of how well they might “fit” you and your needs. If you cannot visit, whether due to scheduling conflicts and/or cost- there are other ways to show them “the love”. Attend local college fairs, where you have the opportunity to chat with admissions officers. Often they will travel and offer mini Info sessions at your high school. It is also common for them to host Open Houses, perhaps at the home of an alum or at a local hotel. Do go on their website and email them with any real questions that you might have. Do request an alumni interview, if available in your area. Some schools even count contact as a sign of how interested you might be- so be sure to show them that you are seriously interested in attending that college.

Nicholas Umphrey

Not able to visit a school?

If it is by a beach in a warm climate, don’t worry about it. I wouldn’t. Seriously, visits are important if it is a school you are seriosuly considering attending. I know some of my top students are in cloud 9 if they get into highly selective schools, but I still suggest visiting. You want to be sure you can see yourself among the student body and around this campus. A lot of times, it is the visit that makes your choice. It is the recession, and I certainly understand how tight money is for families now. I would try to find opportunities to carpool over with friends or peers. If you need to stay overnight, often times colleges have overnight rooms for visiting students, or they can get you good rates at a local hotel. There are effective, frugal ways to accomplish this. Talk to your parents and your guidance counselors for help.

Erica WhiteCollege & Career CounselorMiddletown High School

Research, research, research

If you are unable to visit a school, there are multiple ways to learn more about it: – Attend a local college fair – Meet with a college admission officer while they are visiting your high school or area – Look at pictures and virtual tours on the schools website – Request materials from the school be sent to your house – Ask your school counselor to connect you with a former student who attends that university – Ask the college admission office to put you in contact with a current student – Take a look at virtual tours from other websites…. www.youniversitytv.com or www.campustours.com

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Can’t visit?

Oh yes you can. Virtual tours! Most colleges have movies and virtual tours you can even download to your phone. There are specific websites like http://www.youniversitytv.com/ where you can take a tour with your own tour guide, and most colleges now have virtual tours available on their admission pages. Don’t forget Youtube! Sometimes you can really catch the flavor of a college by watching what is going on with the students.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Visit Impossible

There are many reasons why a trip to campus may not be an option. Don’t despair. You can still demonstrate interest other ways. When the admissions rep visits your school/area, make it a point to connect. Scour their website, learning everything you can about the institution. Request an opportunity to correspond with a current student, alum, faculty member. Do try to figure out a way to visit once you have been accepted. There is nothing like that gut feeling when you step on campus and determine it’s the one for you.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Express Yourself (and your interest)!

Demonstrate your interest in another way such as attending a college fair in your area. Begin to build a relationship with the counselor that reads applications from your area, if the college reads geographically. That is why college reps travel: they will come to you if you cannot come to them.

Sally Mehaffey

What to do if you cannot visit a college.

Due to time and limited financial resources most students cannot visit all of the colleges in which they are interested. Obviously the internet is a fabulous resource. By logging into a college’s website a student has the chance to visit via photos, video tours and by following the links. Just remember that these websites are created to “sell” the college. Particularly with private schools, take advantage of the College Counselor assigned to your geographical region. Send them an e-mail and strike up a conversation. Ask them the questions you would ask if you took a trip to that campus. Check to see if there are some local alums you might contact. If you are lucky, representatives from the college you are interested in may be visiting your area. Check with your High School College Counseling office and the Admissions office of said school to see if any visits are planned. Do not forget to check reviews in the Fiske Guide, The Princeton Review or other college guidebooks.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

Virtual Visiting

cannot really replace the college tour but you can still find out a lot of information without stepping foot on campus. Get to know the website and dig deep into it–look at courses offered and notice which student organizations have events on the campus calendar. Is there a student newspaper accessible online? How about a campus radio station? Are there student ambassadors available to speak with throughout the admissions office?

Rebecca JosephExecutive Director & Foundergetmetocollege.org

Long-distance relationships are often successful!!!

With transportation costs, schedules, and the economy, many colleges know you can’t visit. But you can establish contact in so many other ways. Most colleges go on the road in the fall and spring. They visit your cities-schools, hotels, college fairs. Find a way to go to one of these events. Many schools offer alumni interviews in your area. Some are now even offering Skype interviews. These interviews help you demonstrate your interest for the college. College fairs are another great option. Now, if you can’t do any of these, use the Internet. Go online and find the admissions officer in charge of your area and send him or her an email expressing your interest and asking some very specific questions. They can connect you with students and professors and help you get to know the college better. You can demonstrate your interest in so many ways.

Riche Holmes GrantPresidentInnovative Study Techniques

If you can’t visit a school, don’t panic!

There are lots of other ways that you can get to know a school without a formal visit. First, be sure to attend local college fairs and information sessions to meet college representatives and express your interest in the school. Another great source of information is the school’s website. There, you can view photos, videos and maybe even take a virtual tour. You can also stay up-to-date with what’s going on at the school through its Facebook and Twitter pages. I recommend asking the college to connect you with current students, who will e-mail or call you at home and talk to you about their experiences. I also suggest inquiring about the possibility of contacting local alumni in your area and meeting with them face-to-face, if possible.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

What if you can’t visit a school?

please visit the school’s website and ask for more information by contacting the admissions office directly.

Cara RaySenior AssociateMontgomery Educational Consulting

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you can’t visit a school there are a few things I recommend. You want to gather as much information as possible for your own learning benefit and you also still want to express to the college that you are interested in them First, check out the school’s website and try to do one of their virtual tours. Read as much as possible about the school, the admissions process, watch their videos, read their student blogs, check out their facebook page, follow them on twitter, etc. I also encourage you to contact the admissions office to see if there is a current student that you could talk or email with. You could also ask the admissions office if they have any local alumni nearby that you could meet with to talk about the school. Make sure you are aware of any visits the admissions offices is doing to your local area (college fair, reception, high school visit, etc) so you can show them that you are interested and also gather more information. Also, talk to your high school counselor or independent college counselor if you have one to see if they have visited that school before. They may have some good insight to share with you about their impressions. There are also additional sites out there where you can watch videos about the college (filmed by outside parties) and read student reviews but I always recommend starting with the college website itself.

Kris HintzFounderPosition U 4 College LLC

What if you can’t visit a school?

Meet with the admission reps who do a “road show” in your local area or even at your high school. Seek out an opportunity to do a local interview with an alum; these are non-evaluative but very informative and they show interest in the school. Most colleges have virtual tours on their own websites, or you can also get access to virtual tours and videos through UNIGO, You University TV, and Campus Tours. So you will be able to get a visual, realistic flavor of the school even if you cannot visit. That said, once you have learned everything you can about a school through the above vehicles, try if you can to visit at least before you enroll. No one wants a mail-order bride. This is a big decision you are making, and it is important to see the campus up-close before making a final decision.

Patty Finer

What if you can’t visit a school?

Take a virtual tour on line.

Richard Hazeltoncollege advisorConnecticut

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you are unable to visit a school, there are many ways to gain a wealth of information about a particular college. First, make sure you go to the college’s website and research academic and extracurricular programs that interest you. While you may believe that the only way to tour a college is to actually visit it, bear in mind that many colleges have virtual tours on their websites that allow you to see the actual campus, classrooms, dorms and other facilities. Moreover, many schools offer online chats with admissions officers and students, in addition to podcasts about the school and its admission process. You may also be able to meet admissions representatives face-to-face without setting foot on the campus. Call the admissions office and inquire whether an admissions officer will be coming to visit your high school or attending a fair in your region. Moreover, many colleges offer Skype interviews for candidates who cannot get to campus or alumni interviews in your area. There are a wealth of options available to you if you cannot get to campus. Go to the website and then call the admissions office to find out more!

John Happs

What if you can’t visit a school?

Talk with the admissions people when they come to your area of the country. Attend the college fairs, look at videos, and if you know an alumni, that too would have a benefit. Wait until you have the financial aid package and you know that a school is right, then you must visit. You wouldn’t buy a $40,000 automobile without test driving it.

Megan DorseySAT Prep & College AdvisorCollege Prep LLC

What if you can’t visit a school?

There are many options to help you get a feel for a school before you apply. Frequently colleges will offer information sessions with admissions representatives in your area. If you have indicated an interested in a particular school, they will often invite you to these sessions which may be held at local hotels, restaurants, or meeting places. You can also find an event schedule on most admissions websites or you can always call the college’s admissions office and ask. An out-of-town information session may be enough for you to decide if that is a school worth keeping on your list. After an hour or two, you will either leave wanting to know more and ready to plan a visit. Or you will leave thankful that you only spent a few hours and a drive across town because it just wasn’t the school you thought it would be. Either way, these sessions can be a valuable part of your college research.

Angela ConleyCollege Admission ExpertVentureForth

What if you can’t visit a school?

In a society bombarding citizens with 24-hour news and increasing ways to interface online through Skype and social media developed daily,options also exist to remotely visit colleges. Many colleges are members of – http://www.youniversitytv.com/ wherein walking tours featuring campus aesthetics, historic traditions and noted alumni are featured. A number of similare online products creating insight and a visual view exist. Less technology based is my suggestion that you meet with alumni of the school of interest or participate in visit webinars where current students and faculty respond to questions raised about the institution of interest.

Zahir RobbCollege CounselorThe Right Fit College

What if you can’t visit a school?

Do your best to get a full idea of that campus. Meet with local representatives at college fairs, email professors and visit sites like College Prowler, or Unigo to gain insight into the student experience. Also visit local schools with a similar make-up (i.e. liberal arts college in a big city). Do your leg-work, but to be honest, I would not recommend accepting an offer of admission until you have seen the campus.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

What if you can’t visit a school?

There’s nothing like visiting a school to get a real feel about whether it’s right for you or not. Having said that, well over half of the students I work with can’t visit colleges before they apply. If you can’t visit, then you really need to do your research on colleges you’re considering – Visit college websites and take the virtual tours and chat with current students if that is offered (Keep in mind that college websites are advertisements – everyone is good looking, everyone is happy, and the weather is perfect!); read books and visit websites that are not written by the colleges. Above all, know what you are looking for in a college before you starts shopping – that will help you find schools that fit who you are as a person and a student.

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

What if you can’t visit a school?

Start with a virtual tour & seek out graduates to get their perspectives.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

What if you can’t visit a school?

It’s not always possible to visit schools, especially in the current economic climate. Fortunately, this great technological age in which we live provides many opportunities to virtually” explore campuses and their surrounding locations. If you invest some time and effort, it’s possible to learn a lot about a college without leaving your desk. Making connections with admissions people, current students and alumni are other great ways to get information about a school and it’s culture without setting foot on campus. Increasingly, students are applying to schools they’ve researched well, then waiting to see where they are accepted before making plans to visit. This makes for some whirlwind trips between March and the May 1 acceptance deadline, but it can save you thousands of dollars in travel expenses.

Chuck SlatePresidentCollege Advisors,LLC

What if you can’t visit a school?

First, many colleges now have virtual campus tours right on their websites. You certainly can make time to check out those. Another must- do is to read the more popular college directories such as The Best 376 Colleges (Princeton Review), The Insider’s Guide (Yale), or Fiske Guide to Colleges. Their write ups are a little more revealing than just a standard directory. Last, have you checked out YOUTUBE? There are some videos of tours available and more are being added as we speak. Many of the smaller schools are looking for demonstrated interest. Which means your physical visit(s). Perhaps in your case this might translate to your “touch” via email, skype, facebook, video, etc Finally, you might consider engaging your admissions rep at some of the smaller private schools as to WHY you are NOT ABLE to visit. They might want to know your unique situation.

Cheryl Millington

What if you can’t visit a school?

Visiting the schools you’re interested in is always best to determine which one is right for you. However, while you can’t see and feel for yourself, you just have to be more creative to get that same type of intangible information. Here are a few other ways to get information: Website There is a vast amount of information on schools’ websites and practically everything you need is there, short of visiting in person. You just have to be more targeted and strategic in your web search. Do a very comprehensive search for information and try to get a feel of what the school is like from the pictures, tone of the text, etc. Don’t limit your search to the future students or admission pages, check out the program and faculty pages as well. Take the virtual tour of the campus and residence. There may be a way for you to get on their mailing list so you can get information directly to your inbox. Social Media On the website you’ll see links to the schools’ social media. Follow the school on twitter, facebook and youtube. You can learn a lot about campus activities and will eventually get a feel for the school. You may also see links to student blogs. They are a great resource when learning more about a university. Don’t forget to check them frequently, if not daily. Admissions Office Again, on the website you’re sure to see something that says “contact us”. Take advantage of this and prepare a list of questions that you want answered and contact them. Do mention that you’re not able to visit and would appreciate as much information by telephone or email as possible. Can you get copies of handouts, presentations, etc. of information that is available to those who visit in person? Be polite, but If you don’t ask, you don’t get! School visiting your area? Look on the website to see or ask if the school will be visiting your area. Many schools travel especially in the fall so pay attention to these visits and do try to attend. Be flexible, if they are not coming directly to your city, maybe they are visiting a nearby city and it will be worth attending an event a little further away from home, but not as far away as the school. Current student Ask to be connected to a current student. The best student is someone who is enrolled in the program you are considering. But if you can’t meet with someone in the same program, don’t insist on this since it will still be an invaluable conversation to have. Student visiting your city? University students return home for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other random weekends. Why not contact the schools you’re interested in and ask if you can be connected to one of these students? If the university is not able to give you any contacts, try your high school guidance office and teachers. They may be in touch with former students who are attending that school. Remember six degrees of separation, you’re sure to find a student from your city if you just ask family, friends, neighbours, etc. Alumni in your city? Likewise, you may find that there is a recent alum leaving in your city that you can speak to and get very good first-hand information. Google Alerts Use google alerts to get information on the school, whether it’s a newspaper article, website, blog, etc that mentions the school’s name. This is an excellent way to get information that is not ‘school-filtered’. As you can see, there are other good ways to learn more about a school, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t visit. Just work harder to get answers to your questions.

Margaret TungStrategistYale University

What if you can’t visit a school?

I wasn’t able to visit any of the schools I applied to or got into– In order to figure out whether I even wanted to apply, I did my due diligence researching the schools online and talking to high school peers who currently attended the colleges I was looking at–on one or two occasions my parents introduced me to some friends of theirs who’d gone to colleges I was interested in. It helped a lot–especially talking to recent high school graduates about their college experiences since they’re a lot closer in age and their college experience is a lot closer to what you’ll be going through when you graduate. As for choosing a school once I heard back–I found that the best way to tell whether or not I wanted to go to a school was by attending the admitted student receptions or activities and talking to other students to see whether or not I could really envision myself being happy, making friends, and having a great experience.

Kathryn MillerOwnerMiller Educational Consulting, Inc.

What if you can’t visit a school?

Fortunately, the digital world in which we now live offers great access to colleges via online videos and virtual tours. YOUniversityTV and ECampusTours.com, as well as YouTube and the individual campus websites, are great places to start. CollegeWeekLive offers access to admissions staff if you are unable to attend college fairs or interview on campus. Many colleges like to see “demonstrated interest” in their schools from prospective students, but understand that it is not always practical nor affordable to visit. There are lots of ways to research schools and establish contact without actually being on campus. That being said, since you are going to be spending the next 4 years of your life there, it would be wise to visit before you make a final decision to attend.

Sharon Epstein

What if you can’t visit a school?

You can still build a relationship with a school, even if you can’t visit. Here are four ways: 1. Attend a local college fair where that school is represented. Introduce yourself to the rep and ask him or her any questions you have (you can write questions in advance and bring them with you). If the rep can’t help you, he or she can put you in contact with someone who can. 2. Talk to local alums. This can be an excellent way of learning about a school. Look online for the school’s local alumni association then email or call. Tell them you’re interested in learning about what it was like to attend. 3. Talk to students. Email or call the school’s admission office and ask them to put you in touch with a student. If you’re interested in a certain field or study or extra-curricular activity request they put you in touch with someone who shares the same interests. 4. Email an instructor. Are you interested in a certain field of study? You can usually find instructor’s emails online — so write! Have a conversation. Learn more about the programs you’re interested in and what they offer. You don’t have to visit a school to get to know it and find out if it’s right for you.

Kim RomanPresidentCustom College Planning, LLC

What if you can’t visit a school?

First, don’t worry. Colleges and universities understand that not everyone can afford to visit. Knowing that, many schools provide virtual tours of their campuses on their own websites. Another helpful site is http://www.campustours.com. They offer virtual tours of hundreds of college campuses. You can also visit with college admission representatives at local college fairs or when they come to your high school. Let them know that you are interested in attending their college, even if you won’t be able to visit in person. Keep in mind though that nothing can really replace an actual college tour, so try to visit at least your top three college choices. If you can’t visit for monetary reasons, let the admissions office know why, so they won’t assume that you just weren’t interested enough.

Ed GarciaAssistant Professor/CounselorAustin Community College

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you cannot visit a school in person you can always conduct research online. Simple web searches will provide you with a wealth of information. Also, visit the schools website directly for the most accurate and up to date information. College guides and handbooks can also provide great information. Take the time and read, research, and browse all resources at your disposal. Oh, and why not utilize a resource like Unigo?

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

School Visits-Valuable, But Not the Be All and End All

While there is no substitute for actually visiting a school, modern technology has made it possible to get very good sense of a school–at least as a way to gauge initial interest. Virtual tours and a wide range of online presentation offer a nice window into the physical aspects of a campus. Take advantage of all of that. Too, for all that visiting may reveal, much of the important core information–like course options, available majors, lists of professors, etc. –are usually well presented and readily available on school websites or in any number of publications. In the end, the value of the visit depends, like so much in the search process, on what the individual student is looking for and how they use it. You can certainly get plenty of information and go a long way towards making an informed decision without setting foot on campus.

Lindsey WindrowPresidentLotus Educational Consulting, Inc.

Research, research, research

If you cannot visit a school, you should thoroughly research by talking with current students, reading the website material, talking with the admissions personnel, and basically trying to find out as much as you can using various research strategies and communication channels. Think about the questions you would ask on your tour and make sure to ask these questions via email, skype, facebook, etc. There are so many different ways to communicate these days – use the social media and make sure to approach your research with as many different channels as possible. This will give you more information about the culture of the school as well. I think one of the most important things that you can do in lieu of taking a tour is to talk with current students about the atmosphere of living on this campus, the attitude of the students and the faculty, the extracurricular activities, the good places to eat, etc. Think about a tour that you have taken and visualize the experience, noting the areas you explored and what caught your attention. Use this exercise to formulate your questions about the school you can’t visit. Make sure to ask about all aspects of college life on this campus – academics, social life, greek life, religious issues, clubs, demographics of the students, etc.

Melanie RomeCollege Admissions CounselorMelanie Rome, College Admissions Counselor

What if you can’t visit a school?

Visiting a school before you apply is not all that important UNLESS you plan on applying to a particular school using the Early Decision option. For more information on what it means to apply Early Decision go to www.collegeboard.com. That website explains all application options. However, once you have received you admission decisions from colleges it is VERY important to visit. You need to get an idea of what it might be like to go there and if it being at the college “feels” right for you.

Mary Hilles

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you can not visit a school you may want to visit their website. Many school websites have added virtual tours to their webpages. This will give you an opportunity to see the campus and learn more about the school without having to make a physical visit.

Katie ParksFormer Admissions Counselor

What if you can’t visit a school?

While visiting a campus is probably the best way to get a true sense of whether you see yourself at a school, there are plenty of other ways to get to know a campus beyond the visit. First of all, check the school’s website. This is probably the single best tool for students after an actual campus visit. The school’s admissions pages have much of the same information you would get on a student-led tour, and many schools feature a virtual tour of the campus, giving you a glimpse at what the campus looks like. (Bonus if they have a chat w/ an admissions counselor feature where you can ask individualized questions.) Beyond the admissions pages you can delve deeply into the areas of a school that will mean the most to you. If you know you are dying to be a biochemistry major – check out that major’s website and see not only the academic requirements a student must complete, but what other students in that field have done in the past, what opportunities for research and internships you can find, and what kind of facilities you’d be using. If you’re planning on getting very involved in student life and clubs while on campus, check out the student life page. Find out what kinds of clubs and organizations the school has, the types of activities that keep students entertained on weekends, and how easy it is to join or start something. You should also check the school’s homepage and see what highlights are going on at the school. Usually the school showcases the coolest things on their front page so you’ll get an idea of the amazing things you could potentially get involved with or accomplish by checking out the news features. And lastly, don’t forget to check out the financial aid pages where you can find valuable resources on how to pay for school. Second, request information from the school. Yes, the amount of paper products you receive from schools trying to recruit you can be over-whelming, But, this information is actually very helpful, especially if you can’t get to a campus. You can receive a wealth of information about a school by reading its viewbook and perusing the course catalog. Find out what the housing will look like, read student stories, and use the course catalog to figure out what your classes will be like. Plus, you can figure out all the academic requirements you’ll need to complete for the degree you’re interested in, and whether you can use high school test scores to exempt you from anything. And while it is important to remember that the viewbooks will show the college in the best light possible, it will amaze you how much you can tell about a college’s atmosphere by the styling and coloring of the viewbooks. Lastly, use your high school resources. This means going to college fairs and information sessions that bring college admissions counselors directly to your school. Meeting with admissions reps is great, because students can ask individual questions and hear an abbreviated version of an admissions speech that they would get if they were visiting campus. Attending these sessions is very important, as this is also a great chance to network with admissions reps who may be deciding your fate on getting accepted or not. You can also talk to your high school guidance or college counselor. The counselors at your high school are trained to know about the different schools their students want to attend. They may not know everything – after all, they are very busy – but they will have an idea of what a college’s campus rep might have said if they were on campus, or be able to provide you contact information for someone at your school of interest for you to get more information from. Hopefully you can get on a college campus to visit. But, if you can’t, you still have a ton of resources available to help give you all the information you need to make that decision on which school is right for you.

Alicia Hicks

What if you can’t visit a school?

While it is important to visit the college you are most interested in attending, don’t let this discourage you from finding out more information from the school. Most colleges offer a information packet or brochure to mail out to students who are interested in attending their school. Here are a few tips to consider if you can’t visit a school: 1. Find other peers whose family are going on college visits. Ask if you can carpool with your parents’ permission. 2. Contact the Alumni Office at prospective schools you are interested in. Ask if they can provide you with contact information for graduates who live in your area. 3. Contact Admissions at prospective schools. Ask if they can provide contact information to students who have been accepted early that live in your area. Consider carpooling with them (with parents’ permission) to Info Sessions and College Visits. 4. Consider schools in your area and/or state. Contact their admissions department and ask if they have free summer programs and camps for prospective high school students interested in attending their school.

Heather TomaselloWriting CoachThe EssayLady, LLC

What if you can’t visit a school?

With the help of the Internet, you can still do a lot to “get to know” those schools! I’d advise doing a personal inventory. What do you enjoy? Which school subjects fascinate you? What extracurriculars are you currently involved in, that you plan to continue at college? Then, do research on those areas and try to make personal connections at the universities. For example, if you know you want to continue studying Spanish and plan to become involved in the Latin Students Association, look up the current student president and shoot him/her an email. Most students are happy to talk to prospective freshmen about campus life. Talk to as many current students there as possible to get the scoop on whether that school is a good match for you. I always advise students to go “beyond” the canned tour, anyway!

Judy ZoddaFounder and PresidentZodda College Services

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you can’t visit a school, there are still many ways to show interest in the school. 1) Fill out the questionnaire on the Admissions page website, requesting information. 2) If the school offers interviews by phone or Skype, definitely interview. 3) Sometimes the admissions reps are visiting your geographic area and offer local interviews. If this is the case, sign up for one of these through the Admissions Office. 4) Admissions reps will visit high schools in the fall of your senior year. Your Guidance Counselor will post who and when they are coming. Drop in and say hello, and perhaps bring a few questions to ask. You want to make sure the rep can put a face with a name when your application arrives in their office.. 5) If you have questions along the way, email the Admissions office and and ask tehm. They are more than willing to help.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What if you can’t visit a school?

If at all possible, arrange to visit the schools to which you may choose to apply, but it’s NOT always possible for various logistical or financial reasons, so what should you do? There are many resources available with which you can research the schools in which you are interested. Try to use a variety of resources that will give you information from a number of different perspectives. Some resources are indicated below: – Institutional websites – (Some marketing is done on the websites, but these are also resources for current students of the schools and their parents, so you should be able to get a feel for the culture of each of the institutions.) – Institutional promotional materials – (Keep in mind that, while these resources are usually very informative, they are also marketing instruments.) – Books which provide factual information about educational institutions – (These books will not offer evaluations of the schools, but will give you useful statistical and logistical information.) – Books which provide independent college/university reviews – (These books will offer revealing evaluations of the schools considered, often based on interviews with students, as well as a considerable amount of statistical/logistical information.) – Independent videos produced to provide virtual tours of selected schools – (These videos are intended to give a prospective student the “next best thing” to an actual visit.) – Discussions with students or former students of the schools in which you are interested – (These may be people you actually know or contacts which you are able to make through the internet.) – Rankings of institutions which appear in several well-known periodicals – (Interesting information may be gleaned from these rankings, but you and your parents should not look upon them as the most important resource. There is a great deal of controversy about the actual value of these rankings. Many schools which, in fact, have received quite good rankings in the past have decided not to participate in the ranking programs because of their questionable actual value. Since the rankings are based on statistical information, some of which may not be particularly relevant to you, and since student needs vary so greatly, the rankings cannot possibility reveal what the student experience would actually be like at any of the institutions considered. More important would be to look into the quality of the programs in which you are interested at the schools you are considering and to use the resources indicated above to get a feel for how you would fit into each environment.) Finally, while doing your research, investigate the types of student-support services available at each institution. The transition to college/university life, although in many ways wonderfully exciting, can sometimes be fraught with obstacles and difficult emotional adjustments – even for students who sailed through high school. Look for schools in which effective student-support systems are in place (and be open to using them, if the need arises).

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What if you can’t visit a school?

If at all possible, arrange to visit the schools to which you may choose to apply, but it’s NOT always possible for various logistical or financial reasons, so what should you do? There are many resources available with which you can research the schools in which you are interested. Try to use a variety of resources that will give you information from a number of different perspectives. Some resources are indicated below: – Institutional websites – (Some marketing is done on the websites, but these are also resources for current students of the schools and their parents, so you should be able to get a feel for the culture of each of the institutions.) – Institutional promotional materials – (Keep in mind that, while these resources are usually very informative, they are also marketing instruments.) – Publications which provide factual information about educational institutions – (These books will not offer evaluations of the schools, but will give you useful statistical and logistical information.) – Publications which provide independent college/university reviews – (These books will offer revealing evaluations of the schools considered, often based on interviews with students, as well as a considerable amount of statistical/logistical information.) – Independent videos produced to provide virtual tours of selected schools – (These videos are intended to give a prospective student the “next best thing” to an actual visit.) – Discussions with students or former students of the schools in which you are interested – (These may be people you actually know or contacts which you are able to make through the internet.) – Rankings of institutions which appear in several well-known periodicals – (Interesting information may be gleaned from these rankings, but you and your parents should not look upon them as the most important resource. There is a great deal of controversy about the actual value of these rankings. Many schools which, in fact, have received quite good rankings in the past have decided not to participate in the ranking programs because of their questionable actual value. Since the rankings are based on statistical information, some of which may not be particularly relevant to you, and since student needs vary so greatly, the rankings cannot possibility reveal what the actual student experience would be at any of the institutions considered. More important would be to look into the quality of the programs in which you are interested at the schools you are considering and to use the resources indicated above to get a feel for how you would fit into each environment.) Finally, while doing your research, investigate the types of student-support services available at each institution. The transition to college/university life, although in many ways wonderfully exciting, can sometimes be fraught with obstacles and difficult emotional adjustments – even for students who sailed through high school. Look for schools in which effective student-support systems are in place (and be open to using them, if the need arises).

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What if you can’t visit a school?

If at all possible, arrange to visit the schools to which you may choose to apply, but it’s NOT always possible for various logistical or financial reasons, so what should you do? There are many resources available with which you can research the schools in which you are interested. Try to use a variety of resources that will give you information from a number of different perspectives. Some resources are indicated below: – Institutional websites – (Some marketing is done on the websites, but these are also resources for current students of the schools and their parents, so you should be able to get a feel for the culture of each of the institutions.) – Institutional promotional materials – (Keep in mind that, while these resources are usually very informative, they are also marketing instruments.) – Publications which provide factual information about educational institutions – (These publications will not offer evaluations of the schools, but will give you useful statistical and logistical information.) – Publications which provide independent college/university reviews – (These publications will frequently offer revealing evaluations of the schools considered, often based on interviews with students, as well as a considerable amount of statistical/logistical information.) – Independent videos produced to provide virtual tours of selected schools – (These videos are intended to give a prospective student the “next best thing” to an actual visit.) – Discussions with students or former students of the schools in which you are interested – (These may be people you actually know or contacts which you are able to make through the internet.) – Rankings of institutions which appear in several well-known periodicals – (Interesting information may be gleaned from these rankings, but you and your parents should not look upon them as the most important resource. There is a great deal of controversy about the actual value of these rankings. Many schools which, in fact, have received quite good rankings in the past have decided not to participate in the ranking programs because of their questionable actual value. Since the rankings are based on statistical information, some of which may not be particularly relevant to you, and since student needs vary so greatly, the rankings cannot possibility reveal what the actual student experience would be at any of the institutions considered. More important would be to look into the quality of the programs in which you are interested at the schools you are considering and to use the resources indicated above to get a feel for how you would fit into each environment.) Finally, while doing your research, investigate the types of student-support services available at each institution. The transition to college/university life, although in many ways wonderfully exciting, can sometimes be fraught with obstacles and difficult emotional adjustments – even for students who sailed through high school. Look for schools in which effective student-support systems are in place (and be open to using them, if the need arises).

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

What if you can’t visit a school?

If you can’t visit a school meet with representatives from colleges on your home turf. Admission counselors travel extensively and are usually quite willing to set up meetings with prospective students at school, local coffee shops, or at a regional college fair. Your guidance counselor (or a specific college) can help you connect with students currently enrolled (or alumni) at a particular college of interest. In the current economic climate, more and more students are waiting to make a campus visit until after they have an offer of admission in hand.

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