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These have been surprisingly helpful for DD in assessing ‘fit’. And, I’m finding that the more info sessions she participates in, the better she gets at reading between the lines— some seem very formal and polished and others more like real conversations that invite questions. Some stress the outcomes (med school admission rates, number of students who study abroad, etc) and others seem to focus on the community of learners they’re trying to create. 
 

I’m totally impressed at DD’s ability to distinguish between the schools based on these 55 minute presentations. She has already eliminated at least two schools she originally intended to apply to. I think we’ll sign up for a few each week this summer. It might actually be better at this stage than physically visiting the schools (which is not even possible, obviously). 
 

What’s been your experience with virtual visits/tours? Have you added or eliminated and schools based on the info session? 

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Thanks for sharing this! I've had a hard time getting DD17 interested in trying these. I'm not sure if it's remaining "zoom fatigue" from close to a year spent in distance learning or if it just doesn't sound like a good way to spend an hour, but she didn't seem very excited to even try it.  We are going for our first ever in person college visit in a few weeks. I'm not sure if that will get her more excited to do further online research or if she's just going to want to wait and try to visit during the next school year. 🤷‍♀️

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42 minutes ago, kirstenhill said:

Thanks for sharing this! I've had a hard time getting DD17 interested in trying these. I'm not sure if it's remaining "zoom fatigue" from close to a year spent in distance learning or if it just doesn't sound like a good way to spend an hour, but she didn't seem very excited to even try it.  We are going for our first ever in person college visit in a few weeks. I'm not sure if that will get her more excited to do further online research or if she's just going to want to wait and try to visit during the next school year. 🤷‍♀️

I hear you about Zoom fatigue! One thing that’s nice is that for all the info sessions my DD has done, the student participants have been totally off camera, so there is no pressure to look good or contribute in any way. She typically registers for evening sessions and watches them while she’s making/eating her dinner after a long day at ballet. They serve as company and background noise while she’s just hanging out. She does keep a paper & pencil nearby to jot down a few notes, but it isn’t totally necessary as much (all?) of what they share can be gleaned from a quick search on the school’s site. For her, the benefit has been getting the ‘vibe’ of a school. 

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We didn’t find them helpful at all, they all seemed to simply regurgitate information DS had already researched. 
 

I don’t think one can get a good feel for a school based on a short presentation, at least we certainly didn’t. In person tours and in depth research told us much more than a script ever could. I am glad you are having a different experience, though. Every bit helps, for sure.
 

I’d still highly recommend going on as many campuses as possible—a lot are doing tours this year. We were only able to tour during the summer after DS's sophomore year, but we were easily able to toss out one contender that looked perfect on paper but was *totally* wrong irl. No online presentation could have made the same impression. (As it is, he’s going to a university sight unseen, lol). Even just walking around various campuses is hugely beneficial in getting a true sense of place that no screen can replicate.

In case she hasn’t checked them out already, university specific Reddits and college confidential sites will be super useful in getting a boots on the ground perspective of a school's vibe. She might want to subscribe to schools' insta pages and other social media as well. Also, a lot of schools have info on YouTube, including from students perspectives. 

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Yes, no doubt in-person tours are ideal and hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze a couple in. Unfortunately, our state flagship (her top choice) just opened for outdoor-only, 60- minute tours and they all booked up within minutes, sigh. The rest of the schools she’s interested in haven’t yet or are JUST beginning to welcome visitors back, so maybe we can squeeze one or two in after her ballet summer intensive and before school begins.

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I’m glad your daughter has found a way to check out the schools she is interested in. My son has not been able visit any schools yet, so I’ll have him check out if his schools have virtual sessions. 

When he was younger, He did go on college visits with older siblings. 

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I've heard many admissions reps comment on low attendance at virtual events. I think there is a reasonable chance that a student can get one on one feedback. 

Also, don't overlook the possibility that specific programs and majors may have virtual events or the option to schedule a meeting with a student or professor. 

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We found them helpful at some schools, which tended to encourage a lot of contact and questions and answers, less so for others. We also found them relatively lucrative, in that almost every school raised scholarships based on attending. At the school my kid picked, those scholarships also were added to renewable merit, not one time merit, so a couple of hours of webinars ended up being worth a thousand dollars a semester. Not a bad payoff at all! 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/8/2021 at 3:48 PM, fourisenough said:

Yes, no doubt in-person tours are ideal and hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze a couple in. Unfortunately, our state flagship (her top choice) just opened for outdoor-only, 60- minute tours and they all booked up within minutes, sigh. The rest of the schools she’s interested in haven’t yet or are JUST beginning to welcome visitors back, so maybe we can squeeze one or two in after her ballet summer intensive and before school begins.

Yeah, what’s up with that school? Are they doing very few tours or what? I was overseas and checking daily and somehow missed the window whereupon the entire month was filled? No other schools have we encountered this. 
 

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7 hours ago, madteaparty said:

Yeah, what’s up with that school? Are they doing very few tours or what? I was overseas and checking daily and somehow missed the window whereupon the entire month was filled? No other schools have we encountered this. 
 

Happened with our state flagship, too. They've been the last to make tours available. ETA the tours are really small.

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