We don’t have time or money to visit some schools I’m really interested in. What can I do?
As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the experts. Here are their answers.
O’Neill, MSEd Counselor, KSO College Counselling
The great thing about the internet is that there is so much information available! Take advantage of it by: 1. take virtual tours of the campus via the college website. 2. use google maps to explore the immediate area. 3. google the name of the town where the college is located and see what information is available. 4. promise yourself that you will find a way to visit the campuses that you have been accepted into if this is possible. Narrow it to your top three choices if you have limited time or money. 5. Take advantage of Twitter and Facebook and discover what types of posts and tweets the students at those schools are making to see if it feels like a fit for you. 6. Call the Admissions Office and see if there are any alumni in your area with whom you can meet. Many Alumni volunteer this service to their alma mater and this gives you an opportunity to find out about their experiences at the school.
Marjorie Goode, Founder Start Early: College & Career Planning Service
Be creative and connect it with vacation trips, or “buddy-up” with friends, with parental approval of course, during school breaks or weekends. The visits don’t have to always be a family-bonding event. Scheduling independent visits can sometimes offer more travel opportunities. Local alumni associations and mentoring organizations sponsor group visits to campuses. Explore the technology available with virtual tours, CollegeWeekLive, and UNIGO. If cost is a concern, explore colleges with fly-in programs. Some focus on underrepresented populations, but definitely inquire, since many are open invitations. Many students must be selective with college visits. Since time and funds pose limitations, they must wait to visit after they have been accepted to colleges, in order to make their choice.
First, you can visit the schools websites to learn about the academic, social and cultural opportunities they offer. You can also find out the cost and some general information about scholorships and financial aid. College’s websites typically offer a great deal of information about the school. Some will offer virtual campus tours that might help you to get a feel for the campus, as well as streaming video interviews with current and former students. You might consider the ease of navigation of college websites when making your decision about applying to schools since this is one of the main sources you will have to navigate through your college experience from start to finish. In additon to visiting a college website, you can order an application packet and college catalog to be sent to your home. This might help you to remember what you learned from their website. Best wishes in your search!