3 Tips for Navigating Virtual College Visits

In the college search process, campus visits will always be one of the most important ways that prospective students can determine whether or not any given campus might feel “like home.” Sadly, not all schools are that easy to visit in person right now—and some might even be unavailable completely. But this doesn’t mean you are without options! In fact, with all the virtual tours and events universities are creating right now, there is actually a lot to take advantage of! UMW is currently offering both in-person and virtual visit opportunities, so that you can visit us however you feel comfortable.

If you are planning to visit from the comfort of your couch, here are a few tips for those virtual visits:

1.Check the Website

Despite the hardships, and lost opportunities you may be facing in your senior year or college search process, it is awesome that college websites are far more organized, powerful and informative than ever before! From the comfort of your home, the best way to start is to make a list and discover schools both near and far… from your phone! Many institutions use their website to highlight their distinctive programs and offerings. This is obviously a great way to determine if a school has what you may be looking for in regards to academics—but it is also a great way to find out what a school is passionate about. You can see what opportunities exist beyond the classroom. Do their programs or offerings benefit anyone outside of their school’s community? What do these offerings say about the character of the school—and does it align with your own character and principles? Finding an institution that you can get behind and believe in will not only grant you the benefit of feeling warm and fuzzy—but will also drive you to be more involved and more successful!

Learn more about Mary Wash on our website!

2.Take a Virtual Campus Tour

As a student looking to get to know an institution through virtual platforms, one of the first things you’re likely to come across is a virtual tour. Admittedly, these are not an equal substitute for a guided tour with actual feet on the ground. Still, virtual tours are a great way to develop a more detailed understanding of the look and layout of the colleges and universities you may be considering. Many virtual tours also include a presentation, which often gives a well-rounded overview of that school’s accomplishments, academic programs, and student life. So, not only are you able to get a sense of the school’s aesthetics, but also some information about the history and culture as well. 

Interested in virtually touring UMW? Check it out here!

3.Get a Student Perspective

Another opportunity to check out are student Q&A’s or student panels. Admissions counselors do our best to stay up to date with all the exciting things our students are doing, but no one knows a school’s campus and current happenings better than the students. One helpful strategy might be coming up with three to five general questions you can use each time you have a chance to attend something like this. They could be focused on campus life or academic programs, or a mixture of both, but you can compare answers from the different colleges and universities to see how the responses and student stories vary from school to school.

Interested in connecting with current Mary Wash students? Register for a Student Q&A, attend an Open house or contact your admissions counselor to check out other opportunities! 


Remember: In the wise words of Zac Efron, “We’re all in this together.”

As stressful as things may feel these days, finding ways to decompress and destress is extremely important. I am sure it is very difficult being a high school student during this process and trying to make sense of uncertainty and changing protocols. In an ever changing world, your perseverance, time management, and flexibility will serve you so well in your college experience. If it seems overwhelming, step away for a little while to do something that will help relieve that sense of pressure. Talk to a friend. Go for a walk. The websites, virtual tours, information sessions, and panels will still be there when you get back—and you will likely find them far more beneficial with a fresh and relaxed attitude. And if all else fails, reach out to your admissions counselor for advice and guidance on how to make the most out of their school’s virtual offerings—we’re here to be a shoulder you can lean on!


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