The College Search in a Covid World
Searching for the perfect college is never an easy task, but doing it during a global pandemic offers an entirely new set of challenges. Rescheduling test dates, balancing your current schoolwork, and determining if and how you can visit colleges in person has certainly added to the pressure.
Yes, your college search will look different than it did for those before you, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Call us optimistic, but the silver lining in all that COVID has altered, is that you can now scope out more colleges, in a user friendly way, from the comfort of your own home. Not only does that provide you more options upfront, it also allows you to conduct in-depth research to strategically narrow your options before taking your first steps on campus. Finally, you’ll be able to see how the schools on your list faired during unprecedented times – from their approach to virtual learning and communication with students to whether they’ve come out stronger in the end.
Since we’ve thoroughly convinced you that your college search process will be great, here are some tips to focus on as you kick things off:
- Don’t wait, but don’t rush: Given everything that is going on, it might seem easier to just wait and put things off for a bit. However, now is actually the perfect time to start exploring, since you can build a schedule, chip away at it slowly and narrow your options at your own pace.
- Pick a day, any day: Pick one day a week to talk with your support team about any hopes or concerns you may have. You can burn out quickly if you think about the search process during every waking moment. Building in specific time allows you to have a set opportunity to talk openly about expectations, limitations, and finances, and then walk away to digest.
- Visit a variety of schools: With all the new virtual options, you can easily add a few additional schools to your list and get outside your comfort zone.
- Dig in: Be sure to check out the college websites to get a feel for their curriculum, communication style and what campus itself looks like. You’ll also want to check out their social profiles, as well as some of the student-run accounts to see what life looks like from the inside.
- Think outside the box: Given all that COVID-19 has thrown at us, you may even want to consider applying to some of your top choices before you are able to visit in person. While it’s not ideal, current circumstances may not allow you to get on campus. This method allows you to keep your options open until you can get to campus.
By planning ahead and tackling a little bit at a time, you’ll be able to nail the college search, even under these once-in-a-lifetime circumstances.