Is Coronavirus sabotaging your plans for spring break college visits? Don’t despair! Here are action tips on how to navigate the college selection and be application ready with this extra free time you’ve suddenly found.
The list of colleges who have canceled admitted student days, tours, and information sessions is growing by the day. Some have canceled through the end of March, but others have done so indefinitely while some are limiting but not canceling. We recommend you check with each college as to their current policy.
Many find themselves now missing out on admitted student days or a final visit may feel uncomfortable making a decision and paying a deposit sight unseen. It’s yet to be known whether colleges will move the typical May 1st Decision Day later this year. At LEAP, we recommend you reach out to the school about decision date deadlines and if they are offering anything virtually in place of a visit to help students reach a decision.
Sophomores and Juniors
On a typical school year, the vast majority of schools don’t offer tours and information sessions through the end of the school year starting around exam time. Many have limited summer offerings (or none) then don’t resume regular volume until after school starts in the fall.
While juniors may feel the pressure to visit before application, many students get a feel for campuses in other ways (read more below!) and don’t visit until the senior year after an admission and/or scholarship decision is received. Even students who make time to visit in the junior year often find the need to revisit senior year. So don’t panic; there is plenty of time, juniors.
Take Advantage of Your Now “Free Time”
Many colleges have virtual tours of campus on their site. While it’s not the same as experiencing it in person, it can certainly give you a vibe of the campus. Some tours include current students being interviewed about the school or those interviews or blog posts can be found elsewhere on the site. YouVisit and Campus Reel also have tours of many campuses.
With 37% of colleges placing importance in knowing an applicant is interested in the school before they apply (not a stealth applicant!), most students opt for the in-person visit and official tour to say, “Hey, I like your school.” With visits canceled, this leaves students wondering what other methods are good for showing the college some love.
- Complete the online request form for more information or join the email and/or mailing list of the school. If they’ve sent you an email requesting a response, do so.
- Follow the school and school admissions office on social media.
- Email the admissions representative assigned to your region (can usually find this on the site) asking if there are virtual ways to experience the school during the shutdown as well as what future dates they will be in your area so you can connect then.
Don’t fear though! During this time of uncertainty, the colleges will certainly need to give some grace on things like demonstrated interest. And in the end, while it can be influential, demonstrated interest is not nearly as important as your grades, course rigor, ACT/SAT scores, and high-value extracurriculars.
Other things to do with the extra free time
Resume: With 1/3 of college applications requiring, recommending or allowing the upload of your personal resume, we always recommend putting this together early and visiting it at least annually, if not more often. If you’ve not yet created a resume or it needs fine-tuning, do it now. We have a resume workshop coming up and if Coronavirus gets in the way of meeting in-person, we will offer this as a live webinar where students can interact with the facilitator.
Test Prep: Plan for your next testing attempt. For some 10th, 11th, and 12th graders, that could be as early as April – learn why here. For others, that next offered date in June isn’t very far off, and it can’t hurt to start prep now when you have a little extra time on your hands. If Coronavirus makes it impossible to deliver in-person test prep, LEAP already has a plan to deliver 100% of our tutoring, classes, and counseling virtually/online, so don’t hesitate to register for our options that work for you.
Get Clarity on Your Best Fit Major
For many college majors, it’s essential students apply to the major and starts the program freshman year, if they want to finish in 4-years (that’s how long your scholarships last!). LEAP has developed a scientifically based college major-career coaching program, Fit 2 Flourish, to identify your best fits. Better yet, it can be delivered 100% via online assessments and meetings. Email us for sample reports or register now to find your fit like the nearly 3,000 other students we’ve assisted.