You’re a senior in high school, the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing, you need to make your decision by May 1 on where you will attend. Yet all colleges are closed and have canceled tours and accepted student’s days. How can you make this decision?
I feel your pain and have listed a variety of ways you can research your schools online to help you in making that choice. It’s not ideal to not visit schools in person, but when given lemons, we need to make lemonade.
Resources for High School Seniors During COVID 19
Virtual College Tours
Many colleges offer virtual tours and information sessions, given that they are unable to do so on campus. Continue to check with your list of colleges to see if they are offering virtual tours. Sign up as soon as they are available. Not offering any today? Bookmark that website page and check each day, since colleges may add new sessions to their schedule.
Take virtual tours using YouTube, CampusTours, CampusReel, or YouVisit. There are a variety of campus tours offered either from the school itself or others that have produced these videos. I prefer videos that are not produced from the school, since they are more authentic and less manufactured.
Remember that colleges and universities are as anxious for you to experience their school as you are to experience them.
Access College Programs
If you have not already done so, assess the programs that each school offers to be sure that it offers the programs you are interested in, and/or, if they have a wide enough breadth of majors that fit your interests, so you can decide later into your college career.
FISKE Book of Colleges
If you don’t have the FISKE Book of Colleges yet, go onto Amazon and order it. FISKE provides an in-depth description of 320+ colleges outlining items such as student and academic life, the personality of the school as well as ratings on a variety of criteria. Not all schools are in here, but the information they provide is invaluable. FISKE used to be THE tool we all used for college information, that is, before the internet! It turns out everything old IS new again.
Listen To Current Students
Go to colleges.niche.com or unigo.com to gain the viewpoint from current students on the college they are attending. These are listed using 20 + criteria, including dorm, food quality, academics, professor accessibility, student life inside and outside of campus, and more. DO NOT take any single comment as fact. The written word is not the gospel. Look for trends.
College Counselors Can Help
Finally, if you haven’t used an independent college counselor for your college journey, now may be the time to consult with one. Why do I say this? College counselors have experience with visiting and understanding colleges. They offer and assess colleges independently. They can help you find your best college fit academically, socially, spiritually, financially and more. Our students tell us that our help was useful and comforting. We’re proud to be there to help make these life-changing decisions, and pave a path towards the next chapter of their lives.
Make sure you use a credentialed college counselor who has the experience, time, and background to assist you. Look for the logo of the IECA, Independent Educational Consultants Association. Hiring an independent educational consultant who is a member of IECA ensures that you will work with a professional who has proven expertise is fully vetted and demonstrates the highest standards in education training ethics and experience. Signature College Counseling is a Professional Member of the IECA, as well as a certified mentor for the program.
Our Best To High School Seniors
We wish you all the best in making this vital decision. There are many tools and resources available to you. Use them, spend the time, since this is the most significant decision you will have made in your life thus far.