When weighing your college options this spring, one of the most effective ways to decide which school to attend is to pay them a visit. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, many students are unable to visit campuses in person. We know how stressful this can be. In fact, according to a recent survey, 85% of high school seniors think visiting colleges is important to deciding where to attend, but 49% haven’t been able to tour any campuses yet!
In past years, even if you hadn’t been able to tour many colleges before applying, events for admitted students were a great way to spend time on campus and learn more about the schools you’re considering. The good news is that admitted student events are still happening and can help you get to know a college better. But this year, most of these events have moved online, with many colleges trying their best to mimic the in-person experience. And since these events are online, they’re accessible to more prospective students. We strongly encourage you to consider attending admitted student events and want to give you a sense of what to expect:
Tours – Colleges are creating more live and pre-recorded video content than ever to give students a virtual experience of their campus, including inside looks at dorms, classrooms, libraries, art studios, science labs, gym facilities, dining halls, etc. Some colleges are even offering tours specific to various majors so you can meet the faculty and see what projects students are working on in your intended major.
Panels – Expect a variety of live discussions with Q&A. Events are likely to include interactive sessions with college officers from admissions, financial aid, academic advising, career services, housing, and registration. Be sure to look for events that include faculty from departments you’re interested in as well as current students who can talk about their own experiences.
Connecting with Students – One of the best reasons to go to an admitted student event has always been meeting other admitted students. You’ll want to get a sense of who your future classmates might be and how you get along, and this is no different this year. Many colleges are facilitating online meet-and-greets with admitted students as well as student life events with current students, including club fairs. Many colleges also have social media groups specifically for admitted students.
Whether they’re happening online or safely in person, we strongly recommend attending events for admitted students. You can get a lot of information very quickly and see if you connect with the other students and faculty. Just remember, admitted student events are tightly scheduled and constructed. In order to get a more candid perspective, seek out current students who are not tour guides or admissions representatives.