BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - In the midst of a pandemic, online school, and social distancing, the college search looks very different for seniors this year. With circumstances as they are, students might miss out on some necessary experiences that come with looking for the right college. 

One of the best ways to get a feel for a college is to visit the campus. Although in-person tours have been canceled, prospective students can take virtual tours many colleges have posted on their websites. 

Students don’t need a tour to get the feel for a school. Senior Christina Larock has been looking into this option.

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“I might still go to see some nearby colleges to get a feel for the area and campus, even though they are not offering campus tours,” she said. 

The Governor Livingston Guidance Department can help students navigate this year’s application challenges. 

Michelle Morin, one of the counselors, offered some advice to help students adapt: “The best thing for a senior or junior to do in order to get to know a college is to view their extensive website, attend a virtual college visit and follow up after that to an admissions representative with additional specific questions.” 

Another helpful tip is to join any online information sessions or interviews a school is holding. These online information sessions tend to be about the academics, environment, and other important information that follow a similar format to those held during on-campus college tours.

Senior Olivia Ward said, “I have been opening and replying to college emails and signing up for online tours and meetings in order to understand how their admissions office works and how they differ from other schools I am looking at.”  

This is not the way seniors planned to conduct their college searches. But with access to resources like virtual tours, college admissions counselors, and information sessions via video conferencing, the college search may not seem as daunting.