Choosing a college is a very exciting rite of passage for many students at the end of their high school journeys. It is an important decision because it is where they will be starting their college career. The institution they choose will be where they develop a professional and personal network, begin their path to adulthood, and establish career and life goals. College tours are where many students experience a ‘wow’ factor during the application process. For many, the atmosphere on a college campus helps determine if they see a place for themselves in the community.
However, the option to tour college campuses (in-person) came to a screeching halt in March. Admission offices across the country scrambled to cancel tours and offer more information online to prospective students and their parents. As the fall semester begins for many college students online, admission counselors are also delivering an alternative to in-person campus tours.
Virtual campus tours are becoming a part of the new standard for college admissions to produce. Some tours are even 360-degrees, to give students an expansive look at a college or university campus. Some institutions are going even further to demonstrate to potential students that their institution is the right fit by scheduling virtual meetings between high schoolers and current students, admission staff, and faculty. For instance, Yale has Zoom presentations; Vanderbilt University in Nashville is offering virtual coffee meetings, and University of Virginia has virtual dormitory tours.
Furthermore, students can research student life at various campuses through YouTube videos or on independent sites like campusreel.org, which features short, vetted videos from students from 320 colleges and universities focusing on various aspects of student life.a
Although face-to-face tours are more valuable to some students, there are perks to virtual tours which will keep the trend going after the pandemic. Virtual tours are convenient, time-saving, and cost-beneficial. You can visit different states and take multiple tours without leaving the comfort of your home.
Roads to Success and Pathways will be holding a special virtual youth leadership event for teens on January 18, 2021 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Together We Rise will feature a college panel, career panel, and leadership challenge for participants. Learn more and/or register for this event.