Virtual College Visits

Hannah Dollar

For juniors and seniors planning to attend college, preparation for applications looks a little different this year due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions. However, college visits are still essential when choosing where to apply. College Board and the CP College and Career Center has college applicants covered with access to the upcoming virtual BigFuture Days College Fair. 

Students who sign up will have a chance to directly connect with college admissions representatives and current college students while getting to explore colleges in a way that is not overwhelming. The virtual fair offers an opportunity to execute crucial college planning steps in a safe and easily accessible climate.

“Visiting allows students to see if they feel comfortable walking around-do they see students that look like them and act like them,” College and Career Counselor Dr. Creel said.

“With COVID, it’s hard to travel, so I would suggest looking at colleges online. See if they offer video tours, reach out to friends at those colleges, or if you don’t know anyone there, reach out to us in the College and Career Center to see if we know alumni from that school.” 

More than 100 colleges and universities have visited College Park in previous years: from the University of Houston to Duke University. This school year, college admissions are visiting with students virtually, offering opportunities to connect with them, expectations from the application process, and insight into what specific colleges offer, such as various programs and scholarships. 

The upcoming virtual college fair, hosted by College Board, is broken up into four dates, to include colleges from all over the U.S. by region: Sat., Feb. 6th for West and Southwest regions; Tues., Feb. 23rd for the Southeast; Sun., Mar. 7th for the Northeast; Thurs., Mar. 11th for the Midwest. To find out which schools will be visiting during the virtual fairs, students can log into Naviance, then go to Colleges, Research Colleges, and then College Visits to sign up. Remote learners should have received a link to check into the virtual meeting, while in-person students will receive a pass to the College and Career Center to attend the visits remotely at school.

College visits, virtual or not, are not the only preparation Juniors should be doing. Students can also continue to prepare for the upcoming SAT on Mar. 24th. Even though some college admissions have changed with score optional policies, this is not certain for the future, and many colleges will still require test scores. There are also other options for students’ future that do not include college. However, planning out your future is a vital step, whether that be for college or not. Creating a list of colleges, if that is part of the plan, can help accommodate budgeting, geographic distance from home, and overall narrowing down choices. Naviance is an excellent tool for exploring the most suitable career and educational path options. Visit the BigFuture Days website to sign up for the upcoming virtual events.