Nothing like being on campus, but here’s the next best thing: Tips and Planner to organize your Virtual Tours
I think it’s Wednesday and I think it’s Week 7 where I find myself reaching out to juniors, checking in to see how their college searches are going. And the response---it’s hard to get motivated! Another common response---it’s just not the same as feeling it, walking through campus. No, virtual tours definitely are not the same as standing around each university’s mascot where you touch your hand on that special statue bringing you “good luck.” No, you may not have that dreamy moment of looking out into campus and seeing yourself---or not---walking to your next class with your new best friend. What I have said to my junior students, virtual tours can’t replace the physical visit, but let’s go back to my original advice on the day we first met.
Pandemic or not--it’s not necessary to see all 12+ schools on your college wish list! Together we categorize schools that are similar and plan our tours according to their size, major, vibe, location or other important factors to you. We select those that are reasonable to see and compare to others in the category through online research. Some of these include:
I can’t stress enough how important it is to first research your schools before you decide to visit--virtually or in person. On a good day, tours are a time consuming process and it can feel overwhelming or drain energy that you and your family need for work and homework---now and especially during these challenging times. Once you’ve established your college list that is balanced in reach (good possibilities, maybe schools, challenge schools), then it’s time to start prioritizing the ones you need to tour (and hopefully by that time, we’ll know more about COVID19).
My style is to help break a process down step by step and make it feel more manageable. Get organized and set up a plan for your virtual tours. It’s easier to visualize and follow through when you have a plan rather than just making a random list in your brain...really this will reduce your stress in 6 easy steps!
Scroll down to your College Virtual Visit Planner and get started!
Step 1: Important College Factor List--my school must haves: Make a list of what’s important to you and how you visualize your college experience. If you need help here, reach out to me and we can talk through this.
Step 2: Start your College Virtual Visit Planner...see below!
Based on your College Must Haves, make a list of 10 schools.
My goal is to complete ___ schools (let’s say 1-2 per week) by: ________________(give a reasonable date---like 5 weeks from now!)
Step 3: Go to each of their websites and sign up for tours/info sessions
Step 4: Prepare a list of questions (See Blog on what questions to ask!)
Step 5: Take notes on your tour
Step 6: Send an email to the admissions officer with any questions that you still might have. Make sure your email is written well---check your grammar, spelling, correct capitalization! (See my blog on How to Write a Follow Up Email to Admissions Counselors)
See below for a sample and some suggestions...
Using a tool like this makes a big difference in your ability to stay organized, especially now when there is a disruption in schedule and we are all feeling a little moody or just unmotivated.It helps you stay focused and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you look back at your planner and see the information gained from your virtual visits.
For any further help with your College Virtual Visit Planner and college admission support, please email me:
Stay healthy and safe...keep in mind this won’t last forever and you’ll be back on campus soon!