Decision Day is almost here! You and your child are anxiously awaiting an invite to Admitted Students Day. Typically, Admitted Students Day(s) occur in late March and April. Very often, students and parents use Admitted Student Day(s) to evaluate the schools that they for one reason or another did not visit earlier in the process.
Admitted Students Day under normal circumstances
Admitted Student Day(s) have many fun events for prospective students and parents. It is a time where parents and students purchase school tee shirts, and social media is flooded with pictures of students committing to their schools. For many families it is a time of many emotions: the joy of having your child accepted to the school of their choice and the sorrow of knowing that nothing will be the same as your child enters this new chapter.
For the class of 2020, the joy of attending the Admitted Students Day(s) is being overshadowed by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. As the Coronavirus is affecting all aspects of our lives, do not underestimate the impact it will have on your child’s college selection process.
Colleges are transitioning to remote learning
With many schools transitioning to remote learning for the remainder of the semester, colleges are beginning to consider alternative choices for prospective students in lieu of the traditional Admitted Students Day(s). Some schools have already announced that Admitted Students Day(s) will not occur and some schools are planning for virtual activities for students and parents. This is unprecedented, and many students, who were planning to attend an Admitted Students Day, may be making their final college selection without attending these events. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Coronavirus will make choosing a college even more difficult for many students.
In this time of uncertainty, it is important to remember that there are plenty of students who do not attend these events that are happy with their college selection. Fortunately, today there are plenty of ways to get to know a college without a visit.
If a college visit is not possible, here are some tips:
Remote Sessions: Have your child attend as many of the remote sessions as possible. Almost all schools send prospective students emails with links to attend sessions to learn more about their school. Many students ignore these emails as they are bombarded with emails from schools. Have your child take the time to attend these sessions. These sessions will give your child a chance to interact with administration from their prospective schools and meet other prospective students.
At this time, some schools are even planning for remote Admitted Student days. If Admitted Students Days are cancelled and remote sessions are available, make every effort to attend these sessions. Additionally, online tours of schools are available, and often, students can communicate via email with current students about any questions they have
Use social media: Now is the time to embrace social media for both the parents and the perspective students. Parents should join the parent pages where they can ask questions to other parents. Through reading the questions and answers from others in the group, parents will learn a lot of information about the school through these forums. Students should follow their top choice schools on Instagram and Facebook. In addition, have your child reach out to your family and friends to connect your child with anyone that currently attends the university.
Have your child reach out to their high school to see if guidance counselors can give your child’s contact information to a previous admitted student. Once a connection is made, your child should ask the following questions: How do you like it there? What does a typical night of homework consist of? How difficult is it to join the “popular clubs?” What is a typical weekend like? How important is Greek life on campus? Etc.
Dive into the School Website: If you have not visited the school yet, then please use the school’s website. There is a ton of information on the school site pertaining to academics, housing, social events and of course majors. Have your child really learn as much as they can about the school from the website. There are blog posts from students and faculties that will help your child “the vibe” of the school. Additionally, there are often
Remember selecting a college is probably the most overwhelming decision your child has had to make. With the uncertainty of the Coronavirus, this decision has just become even more difficult. The Coronavirus may affect your family’s decision to attend Student Admittance Day(s) and could significantly increase remote learnings at the collegiate level in the future. Use this time before Decision Day to review the available virtual information about your child’s top choice schools to help them make an informed decision about their college selection.
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Doreen Helmke is an Independent Educational Consultant owner of Collegiate Advisory Group where she focuses on optimizing a student’s potential by making and finding the “Best Fit” colleges for her students at the undergraduate and graduate level. She knows that preparation is key to achieving college admission success. Find her on Facebook and on twitter at @collegiateadvisorygroup.