In part two of our step-by-step guide to Crafting Your College List, we will help you narrow down a list of schools that you would like to research further, either through an in-person visit or virtually. Currently, the majority of schools’ admissions offices are closed to in-person visitors, but the situation is rapidly evolving. Start by researching the schools online. If they seem like a good fit, look into a possible in-person visit in the future – following all Covid-19 guidelines, of course!
Research Colleges Online
Look up their websites, and read about their academic programs, extracurricular activities, and college culture. To get even more of a feel for what the college has to offer, attend a virtual college tour. In light of the pandemic, there has been an enormous outpouring of virtual resources from third-party organizations. Some of our favorites are CampusReel, College Scoops, YOUniversityTV, and YouVisit. These sites, and countless others, offer a variety of different approaches to the college search with detailed video content and ways to hear from actual students at the schools.
Attend an Admissions Event
Register for an information session with admissions staff or student ambassadors. Some schools offer live virtual sessions which provide an opportunity to interact directly with people from the school, while others have pre-recorded sessions that you can watch on your own time. Either way, these admissions events will get you one step closer to figuring out if the school is a good match for you. For more details on virtual visits, read our blog, Researching Colleges During Covid-19.
Make the Most of In-Person College Visits (If Available)
Once in-person college visits are possible again, visit the schools that look most appealing to you. Make the most of those trips by following these tips:
- Register in advance for a tour and information session.
- Eat in the dining hall so you can speak with students and get a feel for the culture of the school.
- Arrange meetings with professors in your fields of interest. Ask them why they chose to teach at the college and how they would describe the student body.
- Meet with staff in specialized offices, such as honors programs or learning centers.
Whether you are able to get to know a college through virtual exploration or an in-person visit, you will start to see your preferences emerge more clearly with each visit, and your list of colleges will begin to narrow down.
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Up next is part three of our blog series, Crafting Your College List: Balancing Your List from Reach to Realistic, where we discuss how to develop the best possible college list for your interests and preferences. For part one of our blog series, Crafting Your College List: Best-Fit College Features, click here.
Whatever your question, Collegiate Gateway is happy to help!