By Shaun Ramsay
Some colleges are closed to in-person prospective student visits during the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a rich and informative virtual campus visit experience. Virtual campus tours have never been better, and opportunities to attend presentations and information sessions are plentiful.
As Vice President of ArtsBridge, I’ve created a handy guide so prospective students can make the most of their virtual college visits:
- Virtual campus tours got some serious upgrades this past year. Many are interactive and feature student tour guides who will show you around campus. Just about every college has virtual tours available on its admissions website, and you won’t need to register or sign up.
- Attend a webinar-style information session offered by the college admissions office. These sessions usually require advance registration and are attended by multiple prospective students simultaneously. They are a great way to get an overview of the institution in terms of academics, student life, admissions, and financial aid, but they aren’t the best place to get individual questions answered.
- See if the college offers an information session geared towards your major. For instance, if you’re an aspiring arts student, larger institutions or schools with prominent arts programs will often offer them separately from the general/institutional info sessions.
- Arrange a Zoom meeting with an admissions officer. Many colleges are now offering one-on-one meetings with a member of the admissions staff. Treat these like an interview and come prepared with questions about things that you hope to learn about the college. ArtsBridge recommends setting up any potential individual meetings only after attending a general information session.
- Request a meeting with a faculty or staff member to learn more about your specific area of interest.
- Depending on your intended major, it may be possible to arrange a private lesson with a faculty member or to observe a class.
- Talk to a current student for an authentic perspective! There are several ways to get connected: check whether the college admissions office offers meetings with current students; ask the department or admissions office if there are students in your major you can meet with; find out who from your high school or extracurricular activities goes to that college and get introduced; or ask ArtsBridge if we can connect you with a student.
- Explore the college virtually in other ways, like following the college on social media, watching both college-produced and student-produced YouTube content, and researching the college on Big Future or the College Navigator.
ArtsBridge is a consulting firm that works with high school students who aspire to study the arts. Their counseling and artistic training programs prepare students for the rigorous college application and audition processes. Students receive personalized guidance from renowned college faculty at leading arts institutions and admissions professionals with decades of experience in higher education, performing arts and visual arts. Their services help students understand what colleges and conservatories look for in prospective students, perfect their craft and audition approach, and stand out in the competitive landscape. For more information, visit www.artsbridge.com and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.