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What Should I Do If I Can't Visit the Colleges on My List?

It's not always easy to plan and attend campus visits. So what should you do if you can't see your colleges of interest in person? Our experts have answers!

Suzanne Shaffer
Freelance Writer
College Coach
Fortunately, there are options available for you when you can’t make an in-person college visit. Most college websites offer virtual tours. You can also find virtual tours on YouVisit, eCampusTours, CampusReel, and YOUniversityTV. Go on YouTube and search for colleges that interest you and check out all their informational videos. Southern Methodist University, for instance, has their official campus tour posted there. Even though you’re not physically there, you can gather any information you need and even post questions. You can even view student vlogs to get a better idea of what the campus is like from a student perspective. Spend some time on social media visiting the accounts of the colleges that interest you too. Most colleges have Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter accounts with all types of information for interested students. You can even connect on these sites and ask questions or leave comments.

James G. NondorfJames G. Nondorf
Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid
University of Chicago
Many colleges send representatives to attend college fairs or deliver information sessions in locations across the country—potentially in your hometown, or somewhere nearby. You can also reach out to your region’s admission officer with any questions you may have, and even request to be put in touch with a current undergraduate. Many colleges also offer opportunities to interview with alumni in your area. And, of course, you can always access a lot of valuable information online.

Rodney MorrisonRodney Morrison
Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden
Use your network and technology. Just because you can’t visit doesn’t mean one of your friends or family haven't. Maybe they know someone who has been to campus and can share their thoughdts with you. You can also visit the college or university website. Not only do several schools have good campus pictures on their website, some have interactive maps and virtual tours. You can even learn from various college blogs.

Douglas L. ChristiansenDouglas Christiansen
Vice Provost for Enrollment, Dean of Admissions
Vanderbilt University

While virtual tours may be great for whittling down options, a campus visit is critical to the final outcome. In cases where you absolutely cannot visit, call the admission office to identify a current student from your home town or state. Arrange to Skype with that student or plan to meet the student when he or she is home on break. If this is not possible, at the very least, have a phone conversation with the student to hear their perspective of life on that campus.

Cyndy McDonaldCyndy McDonald
Founder
Higher Educational Consultants Association (HECA)

Many students are not able to visit colleges. Use the virtual tours on the college websites or on college tour websites. Do virtual interviews with admission counselors using the computer. Talk to college representatives as they come to visit your school or community. There are many things you can do to get a feel for a school without stepping foot on their campus.

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