What if you can't visit a school?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

What if you can't visit a school?

Eric Furda
Dean of Admissions University of Pennsylvania

What if you can't visit a school?

Here is my video response to the question.

Patty Gibbs
Vice President for Student Affiars & Dean of Students Wesleyan 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.

Suzan Reznick
Independent Educational Consultant The 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.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions 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!

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery 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.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne 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.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.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.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational 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?

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.

Erica White
College & Career Counselor Middletown 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