Virtual College Tours: How to Visit a ‘Closed for Coronavirus’ Campus

Are you a high school junior planning college visits… to a closed for Coronavirus campus? Or a senior who is now dealing with making a college decision with canceled admitted student visits (which you were counting on to help you out)? How can you make plans and choices in the middle of a pandemic? Your answer is, like most things right now, the Internet. And not just the standard college and university websites (they are important too, for new reasons). But some other maybe “unlooked” ideas.

closed for coronavirus campus visits

Look for ‘Official’ Virtual Campus Tours… But Prepare to Be Unimpressed

About five years ago, creating “virtual campus tours” was all the rage at colleges and universities. The truth is, though, the vast majority didn’t put a ton of money into making them great. Most took 360 degree pics and put them in a viewer. Some just took the same pictures of campus they already had and made a video. Some just made basic videos. and put them on YouTube.

There were a lot of companies that offered to do more and bigger and better, but universities don’t have a lot of money for things that are “extra” (which they were, at that point). So most did enough to say they had a “virtual tour” and left it at that.

RELATED: Quarantined Teen? 8 Things to Do for College Now

Unfortunately, now, what they have is, sadly, what you’re going to get. With what we just explained in mind, view the virtual tours of the schools you’re interested in or making a decision about with a big grain of budgetary salt. It is something. But it may not be enough to really wow or impress you.

Instead, and we aren’t kidding, do social media searches for other images of campus. Even Google image searches. See what Google maps street views look like. Those are even more “real” than real life in some cases. Be creative to “see” what those campuses are really like.

RELATED: College While Quarantined: Best Practices for Learning Online

Look to Your Peers

We’re still talking virtual, but look to the student bodies of the college and universities during this time of upheaval and see how they’re documenting the changes. What groups are on Facebook? What hashtags are the students using? What’s Twitter saying? Maybe there’s already an admitted student group on Instagram to check out. See what they’re saying. Read current student hashtags and posts too. How do they feel about their campus? How are their communities banding together (separately while quarantined of course).

Professor Social Footprints

Almost all colleges and universities have moved to online instruction for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. With that, professors who’ve not taught online before now are. How are the professors in your intended major representing themselves online? Can you find a webpage or contact for them? Or more information? Do some research on different college and major web pages within the universities’ sites. See what the professors are doing.

Are People Satisfied?

How college and universities respond to a crisis speaks volumes about how they work during non-crisis times. So, use the current situation surrounding the Coronavirus closings and cancellations as a filter. Importantly, what are the students and professors saying about their school’s reactions and responses to the changes? Are they happy? Frustrated? Concerned? Is the information on what and how they need to continue their studies well communicated? Is there too much “we don’t know please hold” or are there new videos and FAQs online? All of this can be informative.

Have Some Patience

Above all, while prepping and planning for “closed for Coronavirus” campus visits, have some patience. Collectively, we are all dealing with an unprecedented situation. While colleges and universities really do want visitors to see the best of them, the best of them are students. And those students have gone home for the most part.

Visit our special coronavirus article page.

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