College visits are an integral part of the college search process so that prospective students can better understand the culture on and around the campus. The current senior class has felt Covid-19’s effects on their applications, but will being unable to tour universities have similar effects on the class of 2022?
The pandemic has affected students in a variety of ways, and college applications have been hit hard. Many students have watched their grades drop as they struggle to switch to online learning. Others are unable to take the ACT or SAT due to limited availability or health concerns. Despite many schools declaring they are “test optional” for this years applicants, they will return to requiring test scores for next years pool of applications.
It is common for students to begin campus tours in the fall of their sophomore year, but between the shelter-in-place advisory put in place in the spring and colleges closing their gates or not providing tours, many members of the class of 2022 will be unable to see the schools they will apply to in the fall in person. Particularly students without elder siblings who they tagged along with for their campus tours may have very little exposure to what college campuses are like. For students willing and able to travel to the universities they wish to attend, the availability of information is limited.
The majority of colleges have set up virtual tours, but a major component of touring is getting an understanding the type of students that attend the school and being able to envision themselves as a part of the community. With many students having not began to seriously look into schools before the pandemic, they will be forced to submit their applications without truly knowing if the school is a good fit for them.