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When a student starts the college admission process, research is a huge piece of the puzzle to build a list of schools where they may apply. While university websites, guidebooks, and similar resources can be helpful, many young people and families are eager to see a campus in person. But what if you can’t visit colleges, or at least every college on your list?

Here are a few tips to get the most information about a college without setting foot on campus:

1. If you live near a college campus, sign up for a tour (even if you don’t plan to apply)!

While you may have no interest in staying in your hometown, taking a campus tour will give you some ideas of what you may be looking for in your dream school. These ideas could be some you’ve never thought about before – like wanting to be walking distance from the dining hall or the gym. In addition, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the application process or find yourself procrastinating, visiting any campus can help get the creative juices flowing for list-building or essay brainstorming.

2. What if you can visit just a few schools?

Sometimes, the hurdle is that you have a list of colleges you like that are all over the country, and don’t have time to fly to several major cities during your school year. That’s okay! Chart out the location of your schools and see where the most concentrated group is. For example, you could consider going to New York City, where you’d be able to visit a bunch of great colleges in just a couple days.

In addition, make use of admitted students day events! These are day-long events usually held in April, inviting all admitted students to campus. While you’ll find campus tours and information sessions, you’ll also find academic information sessions with professors and Q+A sessions with current students. Overall it can lead to a lot of great information!

3. Make use of virtual information sessions and tours!

Hundreds of universities have live virtual tours and information sessions available on their website. These are typically led by admission counselors and current students who will give you all of the same information you’d get if you went in-person. You’ll have the opportunity to ask them questions, and learn all about the application process. Signing up for these online events also can count toward demonstrated interest!

4. Finally, connect with the admission counselor for your area if you have any questions!

Admission counselors are more than happy to connect with prospective students and answer any questions about programs, campus, or the application process. Some may be able to help you set up a call with a current student as well.

While it can be difficult to visit every college on your list, there are ways to do thorough research and learn if a school might be a good fit for you. You are always welcome and encouraged to talk to your Galin college counselor for suggestions and more information!

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