Each Spring Break, families pilgrimage to colleges, promoting the potential rewards if students continue achieving, reifying the belief that a college degree equals long term prosperity.
However, we’re still living through a pandemic, with some experts fearing another outbreak fueled by variants of the original COVID virus, could emerge at the end of March, coinciding with Spring Break.
Additionally, since many colleges are limited in residency, as well as most classes are online, in order to mitigate the on-going risks due to COVID, families, if they can even get onto a campus given the restriction of visitors, may not experience the usual vitality of student life.
Therefore, I recommend postponing campus visits.
Since last spring, when colleges summarily shuttered their campuses, admissions officers were forced to quickly develop a slew of virtual resources to recruit the Class of 2024, the online resources have only increased in quality and variety.
Some campuses livestream tours, where visitors can interact with guides. At other colleges, sample classes are broadcast, or students can directly connect with professors. Also, admissions officers regularly conduct Instagram livestreams or reply to prospective students’ questions in TikToks.
Furthermore, parent groups on social media, like Facebook, can offer advice for prospective families or even just a scroll of current news to understand the university experience, like how administrators are managing the current COVID-induced disruption of college life.
Additionally, virtual college fairs are prolific, as travel is no longer an impediment. Plus, sessions are often recorded, then posted for potential students to view at their convenience. Also, many admissions officers are available to schedule one-on-one virtual appointments to answer more pointed questions.
Students and parents should first research colleges online, then reflect on the educational merits of each college for an individual student, while identifying other questions to investigate. Families may also benefit from counsel to moderate conversations and offer an objective, experienced opinion, in building consensus about the significant investment of college.
For more information about how to both plan for and navigate the complex college admissions process in order to minimize the risk of educational malinvestment, check out Creative Marbles Consultancy