The Virtual College Search 

William Y., Staff Writer

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing measures have been implemented and numerous college campuses have closed, bringing the plans of millions of juniors to research and visit college campuses to an abrupt halt. However, colleges from across the country have acted swiftly to provide resources for prospective students.  


“The cool thing is that the colleges acted pretty quickly to create and implement live virtual tours, open houses and question and answer sessions,” said guidance counselor Jacqueline Clark, in an email. 


Virtual tours have been very convenient for students looking to find out more about a specific college without traveling to a physical campus. 


“I was planning on visiting about 10 or 15 schools, but now I can go to virtual sessions for as many schools as I want without having to spend too much time or money on it,” said junior Catherine T. 


Additionally, virtual tours can provide prospective students with general information about the campus 


“Virtual tours are a very valuable resource because they provide an overview [of the university], which is especially useful if you are looking [specific] type of campus,” said junior Chapin Z. 


However, there are limitations to virtual tours and meetings. 


“I personally don’t get much out of the [sessions] that are just [Zoom meetings] with admissions counselors because they tend to [provide] basic facts without letting you get a feel of what the [campus culture] is really like. I [also] think it’s much more impersonal [compared to a real campus tour] because we can’t directly ask questions and the person we’re talking to can’t hear us,” said Catherine T, via text message. 


Some believe that virtual tours are unable to provide as immersive of an experience as an actual college tour. 


“On an online tour, you’re basically seeing what the university wants you to see and what they have prepared for you to see [] That can differ quite a bit from exploring the college [in person] and looking around at your own leisure,” said Chapin Z. 🔳