How to Create Your Own Admitted Student Day for Seniors
While most colleges and universities are still restricting visits, some are open only for admitted students. Even if your prospective schools aren’t offering this option, most will host virtual admitted students days. Either way, we know how difficult it is to make a decision like this without being able to visit a campus, so we encourage you to create your own Admitted Students Day(s). While online research and virtual tours can’t replicate in-person experiences, below are some ways for students to engage, compare, and evaluate colleges from home:
Social Media: Most colleges have Facebook groups for admitted students. Join them to connect with other admitted students and read the discussions. If you “meet” someone you connect with, you can always move the chat to your preferred social media. Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat are great resources as well. Search for YouTube videos on your colleges of interest, and you’ll find plenty of students sharing information and experiences about their colleges.
College Admissions Offices: Look for announcements for organized virtual or in-person tours and admitted student days from the colleges. Reach out to your regional admission representative via phone or email to inquire about their plans. Ask for their recommendation on how best to experience the college virtually if they are not open to visitors. See if they can connect you with a student ambassador through Zoom or FaceTime. You’ll get brownie points for demonstrating interest if you are a prospective student.
Good Old-Fashioned Pros and Cons List: Practice your spreadsheet skills by making a pros and cons list or comparison chart of the colleges’ features and data. How does your financial aid package or merit scholarship award compare? What are the graduation and retention rates? Were you admitted directly into the business or engineering school? If you took AP tests, compare how the colleges award credit. Were you admitted to an honors or scholars program with special perks?
College Websites: Do a deep dive into the websites. Look at curriculum requirements and co-curricular opportunities for your prospective major. If you’re undecided, investigate advising resources for students with undeclared majors. Head to the section on student life and learn about student organizations and club sports. There is a wealth of information behind the landing page of every college website.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn University pages provide a wealth of information about their alumni. You can get a sense of the types of careers their graduates pursue.
Data Resources: If crunching numbers is your thing, Google “XYZ College Common Data Set” to explore data about admissions, graduation rates, faculty, costs, and degrees awarded. Another helpful link is www.collegedata.com.
Interviews: Turn to older peers, neighbors, and family members to ask about their experience if they attended colleges you are considering or ask if they know current students at those institutions with whom you can connect. Arrange a phone call to discuss their first-hand experience.
There is a wealth of information available through virtual experiences, so grab your laptop and cellphone and immerse yourself in research and discovery.