University of San Diego website
When a prospective student takes a campus tour for a college or university, he or she explores the campus, sees a dorm room and takes note of the options in the dining hall. But with today’s advancing technological world, many schools are allowing students to do the same things in a different way: online.
College counselor and director of guidance Ms. Kathy Pivonka said, “I think (a virtual tour) is a good initial look, especially if that campus is far away. Sometimes it is not easy to get on a (physical) tour early enough (to apply).”
Pivonka advises students to use the virtual tours to their advantage. If the student wants to go out of state and it is expensive to get there and they can only take one trip, they should definitely do some research before they go, she said.
However, students should be wary of a virtual tour provided by the school itself. Pivonka said, “They are not going to show you the trash receptacles on a Monday after a weekend. They are definitely trying to sell you with their pictures. There is going to be an influence everywhere.”
If after taking a virtual tour a student is interested in that college or university, Pivonka stresses setting up a physical visit or campus tour.
“You should never show up to a campus in August that you have never visited before. Keep in mind no place is perfect, and that they are highlighting their best areas. Taking that visit on the Monday morning when no one has picked up the trash isn’t going to be perfect. Just keep it in perspective,” Pivonka said.