Here is my video response to the question.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If it is by a beach in a warm climate, don’t worry about it. I wouldn’t.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
please visit the school’s website and ask for more information by contacting the admissions office directly.
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
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.
Take a virtual tour on line.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Start with a virtual tour & seek out graduates to get their perspectives.
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.
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.
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.
I wasn’t able to visit any of the schools I applied to or got into–
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.
You can still build a relationship with a school, even if you can’t visit. Here are four ways:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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?
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.
Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this site is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid.
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