How to Visit Colleges Virtually During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Susan Antlitz

Has the coronavirus put your college visit plans on hold for the time being? Now that COVID-19 has officially been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization it is likely that more colleges and universities will be temporarily closing campuses and cancelling school visits until late spring. This will be especially hard on those seniors who were planning to visit colleges they have been admitted to. While nothing can fully replace an in-person visit to experience a college, there are plenty of online tools that will aid you in visiting campuses virtually. Below are some suggestions to help students visit campuses from the safety of your couch.

1. College Websites

First check each college websites to see whether they have closed campus or are continuing to offer prospective student visits. Each admissions webpage will also include videos highlighting the campus and links to any virtual tours or online information sessions offered in lieu of in-person tours.

2. YouVisit.com

This website provides students with virtual tours of more than 600 colleges! It works well on a laptop or a phone. Tours are led by college students and are high-quality and interactive. They even have an option for a virtual reality tour if you own a headset. A YouVisit tour will give you a look at the size and feel of a campus, student housing, what a typical dorm looks like, dining options, and more. The tours also highlight some of the well-known programs offered at each college.

3. CampusReel.org

This website offers student-generated videos and tours. Get a true insider’s perspective and learn everything you want to know about dorm life, campus traditions, and more!

4. Google: “College Name” Virtual Tour

This is another way to find videos or tours of campuses. The results from this kind of search will turn up official school videos, student recorded tours, and more!

5. YouTube

Most colleges have their own YouTube channel, and I’d recommend starting there. There are usually tons of interesting videos highlighting campus traditions, alumni accomplishments, student clubs, cool classes, and notable professors. These videos truly give viewers small snippets into life at the college and can be even more informative than a tour on campus.

6. Follow Colleges on Social Media

You already spend hours of your day on social media, so why not do some college research while scrolling! More importantly, some colleges have announced that they will begin doing guided tours and information sessions via Facebook Live and Instagram Live. This is all the more reason to follow your prospective colleges (or those you have been admitted to) on social media.

7. Stay in Touch with College Admissions Offices

Even if colleges close, employees will still be working and accessible by phone and email. Continue checking college websites to see if any virtual information sessions are being offered and to find out when colleges open again for tours.

If COVID-19 really does lead to extensive school closings and travel restrictions, we’ll all find ourselves with a bit more time on our hands. Make the most of your time at home by putting your savvy digital skills to use by continuing your college research.

To read more college admissions advice, check out “Five Common Mistakes Students Make When Filling Out Their Activities List.”


Susan AntlitzSusan Antlitz spent four years as a high school college guidance counselor at a small private school where she helped build the college guidance program from scratch. After a move brought her to Washington, D.C., she started Antlitz Consulting, where she continues to advise students and families walking through the college selection and admissions process.