2020 brings about virtual college campus tours

Mackenzie Coughlin, Staff Writer

When it comes to the college decision process, there are many variables that come into play that makes some colleges stand out more than others. The driving factor for many students is the campus environment and what it really feels like to be there. Therefore, campus tours are essential when choosing a college for you get to experience what it would feel like walking to class every day. Like almost everything this year, in-person college visits are on hold due to Covid-19 

How are students supposed to feel fully confident in picking a college when they haven’t stepped foot on the campus? According to the College Board, “A campus visit is your opportunity to get a firsthand view of a college. A college catalog, brochure or website can only show you so much. To really get a feel for the college, you need to walk around the quad, sit in on a class and visit the dorms.” It really puts the class of 2021 at a disadvantage when none of these things, along with other important steps in the college application process, are available.  

Although there are plenty of restrictions on what can happen at colleges, many have taken this opportunity to start a new kind of visit that is available for students no matter where they are: virtual tours. The website YouVisit holds a catalog of virtually any college you can think of, with filters such as tuition, setting, institution type, and more. The short video visits display a virtual reality style walk-through that takes you along the campus as if you were walking right by a tour guide. Each college has a spokesperson that talks about each building as you approach and tells you unique things about the specific university.  

This new way of holding campus tours can be seen as a positive thing to come out of this negative time. Without the need for these virtual tours because of Covid-19, there would never be this type of free access to thousands of college tours at your fingertips. Normally, one would have to drive or sometimes even fly to a campus just to visit it. Now it is possible to visit colleges that are 500 miles away from the comfort of your couch.