Learn more and stand out when you can’t connect with colleges in person

NCSA: An athlete's guide to taking a college tour entirely online

In a recent webinar with admission representatives from across the country, I heard from directors and deans of admission from a variety of colleges and universities who shared that they will not be making their usual fall school visits in light of COVID-19.  While this is, of course, both unsurprising and disappointing for rising seniors who may have been looking forward to connecting with admission counselors at their schools, we can think about this as a new opportunity to be creative in learning more about a school and showcasing yourself and your strengths to admission representatives. Here are some ideas to get a jumpstart!

Connect on social media: 

Many schools enlist their current students to run their social media accounts.  This way, prospective students are getting an insider’s perspective of the school, rather than learning about it from an administrator.  Are you already following the schools where you’re applying on social?  If not, take a few minutes to seek out the accounts and add them to your feed.

Parents: this can work well for you, too, as it’s a great way to glean insight about schools in which your student has expressed interest!

Embrace the live-virtual sessions: 

As colleges continue to grow their virtual offerings, many are providing live-virtual programs, as we covered in my recent blog post.  Check out schools’ websites for updated opportunities, find a date and time that work for your schedule, and tune in.  Not only will this be another way to hear from current students and demonstrate your interest to each school, but also you will enter your contact information before participating in these programs, providing another great point of contact for the schools to track.

Virtual college fairs:

This fall, instead of attending college fairs in person, admission reps will be tabling in a virtual space. 

Are you a rising junior?  This will be ideal for you to begin your relationship with a variety of schools and start to learn more about their academic programs, student resources, athletics, student organizations, and more. 

Are you a rising senior who hasn’t yet connected with a representative from a school you’re considering?  Drop in for a quick chat and communicate your interest and/or ask the questions you’ve been sitting on this summer. Learn more and register for a virtual college fair, such as the NACAC National College Fair, which will be held on various dates this fall.

Connect “in-person:” 

Oftentimes, colleges and universities will organize their admission staff website by territory, because at many schools, admission representatives are each assigned to recruit and review applications from a distinct travel territory.  This may consist of different cities and towns within a state, multiple states, multiple countries, or a combination of all three.  Colleges and universities encourage prospective students to reach out to their assigned admission representatives in order to put a name with a face.

Feel free to reach out to your assigned rep with questions about the school that you can’t answer easily on the website, to let them know you hope to be in the area on a given date (when travel is an option again), or to seek out their help in connecting with various professors of interest.  This is yet another way to show your demonstrated and genuine interest in a school!

Do you have questions about ways to make the most of your search and stand out from afar? I’d love to chat!  Please reach out to schedule a consultation: danaroseroth at gmail dot com.

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