by Jenna Ranney, Content Manager
College visits are an excellent way to get to know your school and to see if it’s the right environment for you. But what about this coming fall, when most orientation events are canceled and tours are suspended in the name of social distancing and keeping the public safe? While it’s certainly not an ideal situation for anyone, hope is not lost! There are still plenty of options to get to know your school beyond the basic academic and financial info you already have. Here are some tips for learning more about what your prospective school is really like, even when you can’t go see it in person.
Check What The School Has Published
Just like your college decision process has been altered by coronavirus, so has your school’s admissions process. Most schools have responded with new online resources for the incoming classes to learn more about their school. Check out the school’s website or admissions page to see if there are any blogs, videos, webinars, or virtual tours available. Though they’re not ideal, they can still be super helpful for your decision!
Take Advantage of Social Media
Our modern networking tools can really come in handy here! Check out your school’s presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to get a feel for the school culture. Even from the school's most basic social media posts, you can see a bit more of campus and student life! See if you can find the pages for the clubs, sports teams, or even some fellow students to learn more about the types of people you’d be going to school with. Don’t be afraid to reach out with a quick DM to see if you can learn more about the school or get some advice from other people affiliated with the school.
Make the First Move
The best way to form a personal connection to your school without being there yourself is to connect with other people! Track down the contact information for people at your school; an email to a counselor, potential professor, or even an RA or student leader could be incredibly helpful! Alumni networks are another great resource for seasoned advice on your school. You can check LinkedIn or the Alumni Mentor tool in the UpperCampus app. You might not get a response from everybody, but those you do reach will likely be more than happy to chat with you and share their experiences. Try to think of people you know who may be attending/have attended that school and reach out to see what they think. If you’re feeling bold, you can even try to find accepted students' Facebook pages or older student’s Instagram or Twitter accounts and send a DM to see if they’d be interested in sharing advice. I know reaching out can be scary, especially to strangers, but trust me when I say that the wisdom they have to share can be invaluable! (Disclaimer: when reaching out to someone you don't know, don’t give out any of your personal information or bombard people with messages if they aren’t interested).