College Connections: Visiting Colleges Virtually

Photo by Holly Burkhart

What is a great way to explore colleges and do it safely in the midst of a pandemic? Casady seniors and juniors are encouraged to attend virtual college visits that occur during the school day. Seniors should participate in the virtual visits hosted by the colleges to which they are applying, while juniors are encouraged to start exploring colleges. If a freshman or sophomore is interested in a particular college, and they would like to learn more about it, then they may reach out to our college counselors, Dr. Hubbell and Ms. Kisselle.

For students who have not yet participated in a virtual visit and are wondering what the experience is like, the virtual college visits with Casady students have had anywhere from zero to twelve students in attendance. The college admissions representative shares a brief overview of their school, explains the application process, and concludes with giving the students an opportunity to ask questions. This is a wonderful time to learn more about a particular college by asking follow-up questions. Students may want to ask about special programs, a specific field of interest, or further clarification on something discussed in the presentation.

Virtual visits have all been scheduled at either 12:25 p.m. or 1:20 p.m. so as not to interfere with class times. For students interested in a virtual college visit that interferes with part of their chapel time, the student needs to let their chapel teacher know in advance. Students who need a quiet place to attend a virtual visit are always welcome to go to the college counseling office.

Dr. Hubbell and Ms. Kisselle believe the top three things students should get out of a college virtual visit include:

  1. An understanding of the academic and student life programs a school has to offer.
  2. Meeting the admission representative who will likely review your application.
  3. Learning how the admission and financial aid processes work for the particular school.

Juniors and seniors, who are in the midst of the college admissions process, have undoubtedly heard the term “demonstrated interest.” Dr. Hubbell and Ms. Kisselle, clarified that demonstrated interest is “a metric that some colleges use in the admission review process because they want to make sure that a student is genuinely interested in their institution before admitting them. You can demonstrate interest by attending a virtual visit, watching a virtual tour or otherwise spending time on a college’s website, engaging with an admission representative through email, or physically visiting a campus.” For colleges that do track demonstrated interest, it is wise to keep your camera on during the virtual visit and engage with the admissions representative. 

For students interested in attending a college virtual visit, there is no registration process through Casady’s college counseling office. However, some colleges ask students to pre-register, while other colleges provide a Zoom link in advance. To find out which colleges are visiting Casady, they are posted in the daily announcements, on the school calendar, in the Class of 2021 and 2022 College Counseling Google Classrooms, and on the @casadycollegecounseling Instagram account. Virtual visits typically end in November, when admissions officers begin to read applications. Good luck seniors!