Posts Tagged “college visits”

With money especially tight for a lot of people these days, it may not be an option to go on a college tour this spring break.  But it’s still super important to research as much as you can about the options that are out there, and thankfully there are some great low-cost alternatives to the more expensive college visits.

I’ve blogged before about Unigo, the website featuring hundreds of college reviews by college students.  It’s awesome because you get unedited perspectives from a whole range of students, plus videos, forums, and the ability to save the information you’ve researched to your personal account.

Another great site to check out is YouTube’s recently launched EDU.  Colleges and universities are able to upload videos about the school, lectures from featured professors, or any other broadcast-worthy event from their campus.  What I like about EDU is the opportunity it gives you to “sit-in” on some classes from the comfort of your own living room.

So whether you’re a senior getting your decision notices this week or just starting to research colleges, take some time to know your schools before you make that all-important decision of where to attend.

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Q: “I never seem to have time to visit schools. Is it really important to visit the schools before you apply?”

–Kristyn, 18, Philadelphia, PA

A: I think it’s a really good idea to visit colleges before you apply because brochures and websites can all start to look and sound the same. Nothing will give you the sense of what it will actually be like to live on a college campus like visiting and seeing for yourself the dorms and classrooms and athletic facilities and, of course, the students. I know it gets a little crazy once senior year hits to find the time to visit college campuses, and it can also be pricey if the schools you are applying to happen to be more than a car ride away. But keep in mind that you’re making a decision about the next four years of your life, and don’t you want to do all the research you can to make sure you’re making the right one?

There’s no excuse not to visit the schools in your local area. In fact, a lot of college applications even ask if you have visited campus, so make sure you can answer that question in the affirmative! Obviously, if you live across the country that won’t be as much of a possibility, but if you live in New York City and you’re applying to Columbia University, go check it out! If campus visits aren’t going to happen before you apply, at the very least you should find some time between applying and getting your acceptance letters to visit the schools where you’d like to attend. It can save you a lot of heartache come freshman year if you rule out now the things that you don’t like about certain campuses, things that you wouldn’t know unless you actually visit.

Now, if time and money are making it impossible for you to visit any college campuses, then you might want to check out the online college fairs at CollegeWeekLive. On Nov 12 and 13th, CollegeWeekLive will host its fall online college fair, connecting thousands of students with more than 200 colleges and universities. It’s an opportunity to chat online with admissions officers, current students, and college counselors, and it won’t cost you a penny! You can register for CollegeWeekLive’s virtual college fair at collegeweeklive.com, and you can even catch yours truly giving a presentation on how to stand out in your college applications. While visiting an online college fair can’t take the place of an actual campus visit, it can be a very useful tool that along with all your other research will help you make an informed decision about which colleges or universities you’d like to attend.

And check out more of my answers to your questions at Seventeen’s College & Career Q&A!

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