College Planning

5 Ways to Tour Colleges at Home

While you’re at home and not able to tour colleges physically, there are different ways to get to know a college through their online resources and social media presences.  

Many schools are offering virtual tours, chats with admissions officers and current students, and other online options to help you get familiar with their school. Be sure to check the websites of schools that you’re interested in to take advantage of any opportunities they’re providing to prospective students! 

Take a Virtual Tour  

  • Check the school’s website to see if they offer virtual tours.   
  • Some colleges also offer virtual chat rooms to connect prospective students with current students and tour guides.   
  • If you’re able to join one of the chats, consider asking the following questions:  
    • Why did you choose this college?  
    • How was your transition from high school to college?   
    • What do you do in your free time?  
    • What is it like to live at this college?  
    • What does the college do to promote student involvement in campus groups, extracurricular activities, or volunteering?   
    • What are the housing options?  
    • What is the graduation rate?   
    • Are there work-study programs and part-time jobs available?  

Watch one University of Vermont student take students on a video tour of his campus.

Learn About Everyday Life   

  • Follow the school’s social media accounts. 
  • If you’re interested in joining a specific major, sports team or club, try finding their specific social media accounts as well.  
  • Explore the school’s student-run newsletters, magazines, online publications, or blogs 
    • Learn about the campus services that are available for students:  
      • Residential services 
      • Counseling 
      • Health centers 
      • Religious centers 
      • Financial aid office 
      • Information technology support 
      • Career centers 
      • Commuter services  

Check out how Sheila gets around campus at Texas A&M University.

Browse Course Catalogs   

  • Read the short descriptions for the courses that may be required for your major   
  • Learn about some frequently offered elective classes.   
  • Find out if there are internship opportunities that you can also take for college credit.    

Look into Housing Options   

  • Find out what sort of housing options are available for incoming freshmen.   
  • Depending on the school, certain dorm types may only be available as special living options, honors colleges, or upper classmen, so make sure you become familiar with the type of dorm that you may be living in.   
  • Double-check the living requirements as well, because some schools make it mandatory for freshmen to live on campus. 
  • Colleges offer all sorts of dining choices, such as restaurants, cafes, and dining halls, so check out your dining options and what sort of foods are available on campus and off campus.   

Use Crowd Sourcing Information   

There are many crowd sourcing resources available for students whose college visiting plans are impacted by coronavirus. Please note that these are crowd-sourced, unofficial resources that may be helpful to you in your college planning: