College visits move online with distance learning

Julia Weinrod

In years past, a rite of passage for Wilson’s juniors and seniors was attending college visits in the College and Career Center in order to get exposed to schools across the country. Even though the building is closed until further notice, these visits are still going on virtually. 

Since September 8, dozens of college representatives have talked with Wilson students over video chat. The schools that have already had meetings include Dartmouth College, University of Chicago, and Johns Hopkins University, among many other schools.

They are often led by admissions officers that read the applications from DC students. These representatives typically give a 15-30 minute long briefing on the school’s strong suits and high points. Then, they open the floor for questions. Many of the schools that have already visited may return later this year.

Dr. Patrice Arrington, Director of College and Career Services, is responsible for coordinating these virtual visits. “This is the only face-to-face time you will have with your rep,” said Arrington, so she encourages students to turn on their cameras and ask questions. She added that, “they are also taking attendance.” Some reps will also offer to meet individually with students in the days following the visit. This is a great way to show interest in a school.

These visits are especially vital for this year’s seniors, who lack many ways to get information about the schools on their lists. One senior, Jackson Hall, went to several meetings for colleges in the Northeast. He said, “I wanted to learn more about the updated SAT and ACT policies because it’s hard to get a sense of them from their websites.”

Now, if you’ve read all this and thought: wow, what a great way to skip class, think again. You must communicate with your teachers as to why you are missing class, and you are responsible for the work you miss.

Students who mark schools on Naviance as an “I’m Thinking About” school will receive an email alerting them to college visits from that school. Arrington also sends out weekly emails on upcoming meetings.

These meetings are super important for learning about a school you may be interested in applying to, especially in a year where campus tours are canceled and travel is limited.