Searching for a college for engineering in 2021 is not the same as it was in years past. Many schools are not open for tours or visits. This is frustrating for juniors exploring which schools might be good for them to apply to, as well as current seniors trying to decide which school to attend.
So What Can You Do?
Start checking out college websites. There is a lot of information and resources available online.
Most schools offer virtual tours of their schools. These range from videos to interactive maps to programs that provide a 360 degree view of areas on the campus. There are often videos of the area where the campus is located to allow potential students to get a better feel of the environment.
Many schools also offer information sessions with administrators, faculty and even current students. These sessions can be live zoom sessions or prerecorded videos. The live sessions require advanced registration and range from large talks over zoom with an interactive chat for questions to smaller sessions where participants are encouraged to interact using their camera and audio. There are often general info sessions about the college as well as sessions for specific majors, such as engineering.
Many college websites provide prerecorded videos of students describing their experiences at that school. These are great resources to find out more about what it is like to go to school there. There may also be videos detailing different majors. In addition, there could be videos of the area where the campus is located to allow potential students to get a better feel for the location.
Many schools offer trial classes for students currently accepted to a college. It is a great way to experience what a class feels like on a campus. This is a fantastic way to help an accepted student's decision process.
Some colleges are currently starting to allow campus visits. It is best to contact each school you are interested in to see if an in person visit is possible. They usually will require an appointment as these typically are limited to very small groups and are not always offered. It is also sometimes possible to do a self guided tour of the outside of a campus and the surrounding area at schools not offering tours.
Calls and Emails
Contacting the department you are looking to major in is a great way to find more details about their curriculum. In addition, contacting the campus recruiter for your area is another good way to get information about a college.
The End Result
Online resources such as virtual tours, information sessions and videos can help students and their parents learn a lot about different colleges. In addition, some colleges are starting to offer limited on site tours or you can decide to do a self guided visit to the campus and surrounding area. Exploring colleges in 2021 can still be done, it just takes a bit more effort.