Virtual College Tours
Answers To Your Questions AND Questions You Should Ask
For the majority of high school and college students, learning will be virtual this year. Some of the largest colleges and high school systems in the nation have already called it (the University of California, Chicago Public Schools… and on and on) and, hopefully at worst, virtual learning won’t extend past Summer 2021 — which is something that all seniors looking at colleges currently need to remember.
It may not feel important now to know about the city your college is in, what the dorm rooms look like, or what services are offered on campus, but, at some point, it will. Don’t gloss over asking the important on-campus questions, as well as questions about academics and virtual capabilities, just in case virtual learning extends into Fall 2021. Fingers crossed we won’t have to cross that bridge, but let’s be ready just in case we do.
How do I find virtual college tours online?
Most colleges have stood up some sort of virtual college tour offering at this point, many of which have reported their availability and special dates to us here at Cappex. You can search for colleges and universities you’re interested in on our COVID-19 Student Resource Center.
Some colleges have virtual tours you can walk through on your own, videos to watch, group sessions, 360-degree views, 3D, or even 1-on-1 sessions with school representatives. It’s typically a good idea to join the least-commitment-involved tour first, so watch the provided video, dig into the college’s website, and if you’re interested further, join a group tour or 1-on-1 session.
Are there free virtual college tours?
You should never be charged for attending a virtual college tour.
Do colleges see when you take virtual tours?
Most of the time, yes. If you watch a video without inputting any information, it’s likely they won’t see that, but if you sign up for a group tour, use YouVisit, CampusTours.com, or other platforms to host their virtual tour, it’s very likely they will see you taking a virtual tour. This can be great for showing demonstrated interest.
Sure, you can watch videos on YouTube from students who’ve attended colleges, and you should. There are some really cool YouTubers out there who make detailed videos about their time at universities and colleges all across the country. The only problem with stopping after doing that is really that colleges won’t know you did. You may absolutely love their college and it’s your number 1, but you need to make that clear to the admissions office.
You want your name on their radar. Regardless of whether you know everything about the college, sign up for the most involved virtual tour available. Talk to an admissions counselor. Have good questions. Demonstrated interest is the newest piece to a college application and it's worthwhile to take advantage of.
If I’m doing an online college tour, but it’s a group or 1-on-1 where they can see me, what should I wear?
Take off the sweatpants you’ve been sitting in for the past pandemic-filled months and put on something simple that you feel comfortable and confident in. A nice shirt or blouse with a pair of jeans (or jeggings 😉) should work well. You want to look polished, so tame your hair, whether that involves a little hair gel or just a ponytail to get it out of your face is fine — be you!
If you wear makeup or it makes you feel confident, add that to your routine as well. Outside of wearing a good, non-stained, non-pajama outfit, it’s all about feeling good and confident so you can ask questions and have an informative conversation with college representatives.
The key here is just to present the best version of yourself.
What colleges have the best virtual college tours?
It really depends on what you’re looking for! If you’re really interested in a college and want to get a true feel for it, that can be the most difficult, so I’ve compiled some colleges with some excellent videos, 1-on-1s, and more that really dig into life at their particular institution.
Texas A&M University
Whether you want to virtually click through yourself, take a 20-minute walking tour with the Howdy Crew, or register for a 30 minute 1-on-1 with a current Aggie, Texas A&M University has options galore for however you want to explore their campus.
The Georgetown University narrated virtual walking tour is informative and lets you choose your own path. It’s a great place to start for anyone interested in this university!
Boston College offers live, 1-hour tours with current BC students, student panels, and walks about campus. You’re sure to get a good feel of what it’s like to attend Boston College after attending one of their sessions!
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona offers a plethora of options, including daily information sessions, so you can find out more about the University of Arizona whenever it suits your fancy.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan has a very active YouTube channel that even breaks down into different colleges. They feature student vlogs, answer admissions questions, and much, much more, so if you’re interested in this Ann Arbor institution, start with their YouTube channel!
Questions to Ask on a College Tour
Knowing what to ask to get the information you want can be frustrating. Plus, there are so many questions to ask! You’re choosing a new place to live, eat, learn, and enjoy life for the next four years—that’s a huge commitment.
If you’re feeling pressure about what to ask, throw it away. We have you covered. There were so many questions, we actually separated it into two sections, so check them out below, make your list, and go confidently into your college tour!
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Everything You Need to Know About the CommonApp 
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