Go on a Virtual College Visit
Nothing can outweigh the benefits of stepping onto a college campus and personally experiencing everything it has to offer. However, the Internet has made it easier to get a glimpse into life at college just by using your computer. Below are some ways you can take advantage of the web to research potential schools.
Review a college’s homepage.
It seems simple, but a college’s homepage often highlights the areas in which they excel. If you don’t have time to really dig in, scan the information and note the parts you are most interested in learning more about. Then, bookmark the website so you can review it later.
Follow their social channels.
Most colleges have some kind of social media presence. Follow the schools you are interested in applying to on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to get brief updates on the happenings around campus (without having to actively look for information).
Subscribe to the student newspaper.
The newspaper is written by students and the articles cover stories that interest the students on campus. Look at a recent publication to learn about events, issues, and opinions written by your potential peers.
Take a virtual tour.
Many colleges and universities have a photo or video tour of campus on their website. These can help you get a better feel for the classrooms, dorms, dining halls, and hot spots on campus.
View the campus using online maps.
Maps found on the Internet can do more than get you from point A to point B. Use it to look at the campus from a bird’s-eye view to better understand the size of the campus. Or, try mapping the distance between common places, like the library and the dining hall. Use extra features to check out restaurants, theaters, and coffee shops that are within walking distance of the dorms.
Read the “events” section of the website.
Colleges often host an array of events, from musical artists and comedians to free movies and game nights. Seeing a calendar of events can give you a better understanding of the fun activities available to students.
Research the surrounding city.
The community will have an impact on your college experience. Do some online research to better understand where you will be living, and learn about the benefits available outside of the campus bubble.
Read student profiles.
Most colleges have a collection of student testimonials on their website or social media channels. Reading through these to learn about your peers and visualize yourself in their shoes.