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.

Riche Holmes Grant
President Innovative 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.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The 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.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora 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.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What if you can't visit a school?

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

Mark Gathercole
University Advisor Independent 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.

Angela Conley
College Admission Expert VentureForth

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.

Kris Hintz
Founder Position 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.

John Happs
Counseling-4-College

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.

Richard Hazelton
college advisor Connecticut

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!