Not being able to visit a college campus, attend a college fair, or meet with college reps at a high school present huge challenges for college-bound students. However, if there's one thing we've all learned this year, it's the power of creative problem solving! Thanks to some ingenious virtual resources, you can still access the information you need in order to continue onward in your college journey. Here are the resources and a systematic approach that I recommend to all of my students who are planning to attend college.
Start the College Search Process with Scoir
If you're just beginning the college search process, I suggest that you utilize Scoir's offering of YouScience. Through a series of unique assessments, YouScience offers the opportunity to zero in on your strengths and possible career paths. Once you have an idea of what you'd like to pursue, I recommend you begin researching colleges with Scoir.
Lack of funds or a global pandemic may keep you from visiting colleges and meeting with college representatives in person; however, you can conduct a systematic college search virtually. Be sure to take notes during the entire search.
Continue Your Research on College Websites
It is very important to spend time reading about your intended major in the ‘Academics’ section of each university you're interested in. I also suggest you search for the 4-year graduation plan including courses needed to complete the Bachelor’s Degree. Seek out a digital copy of the course catalogue, or inquire about obtaining a copy.
Keep an eye out for virtual student panels, admissions information sessions and professor talks in your field of interest, either on Scoir or the college website. Most colleges know how often you attended sessions, disclosing your level of interest.
Search for Virtual College Fairs & Tours
In addition to searching for virtual college sessions on Scoir, I also recommend keeping an eye out for regional or national college fairs. One, in particular, I recommend following is NACAC virtual college fairs.
A virtual tour is one more way to become familiar with a college. Does the information you have researched thus far match what you are seeing in the virtual fair? Write down questions that may arise during the tour and be sure to connect with a representative after the tour to have your questions answered.
Connect with Schools on Social Media
Social media is used to communicate with potential applicants about what their school has to offer. Seek out school sponsored media on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat. Follow the account to receive up-to-date information. Be aware of your own personal account and make sure it is appropriate for the colleges to view. Use chat boxes, live chat and Zoom calls to get answers to your specific questions. If you are nervous, write down your questions in advance of a Zoom call.
Communicate with Admissions Representatives
I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to know and communicate with the representative who works with your high school. If it is one of your top 3 colleges, you should be in contact with the rep. Locate their name and email on the college admissions website. If you cannot find it, call admissions. Introduce yourself to the rep via email and attach your College Resume. Ask questions based on your research. If the answer can be found on the website, it should not be asked in the email. Write in full sentences and thank them for their time.
Lacking In-Person Resources is a Challenge, But Don't Put on the Brakes
Missing out on those opportunities for in-person visits, college fairs, and meetings certainly makes the process of researching college a challenge. However, it's not cause to stop the process altogether. It's been somewhat amazing to see just how many virtual resources have been made available for college-bound students as a results of a challenging situation. Be sure to continue to process virtually. When you're ready to begin your application process, jump on over to this blog for our tips on how to prepare a stellar application.