College visits should humanize the admission process, focus less on numerical data

October 7, 2021 — by Ethan Lin
Photo by Anjali Pai
During college visits, colleges should not repeat information easily found on their website. 

With college application deadlines looming on the horizon, many students are frantically looking for resources that can make the process less confusing. College visits to the school, which are now both in-person and online, provide such an opportunity.

Through these visits, students are not only able to connect with their dream schools and display demonstrated interest, but they’re also able to learn more about the various programs offered by these colleges. 

Despite being advertised as having this dual purpose, most college visits lack the informative aspect, often simply regurgitating statistics or information that can be found on their websites. Although this may be beneficial for certain students who do not want to spend time doing research by themselves, the purpose of college visits should be to humanize the college application process. Instead of listing out the school’s median admissions SAT/ACT scores or average student body GPA, alumni should be using their time to talk about their personal experiences at these colleges and the people they were able to meet in different programs. 

Of course, this is not to say that these quantitative indicators are not important for students to know— they definitely are. But with the last year and a half spent online and away from social interaction, the college admissions process is more confusing and impersonal than ever for many students, so more emphasis should be placed on humanizing it, instead of listing out the  numerical variables that are a reminder of the past, two-dimensional Zoom world. 

Many students under normal circumstances would have had a chance to visit colleges during their junior-year summer; however, due to COVID-19, only a few have had this opportunity. Thus, for many students, these visits are a substitute for real college visits — visits that possess a more social approach that focuses more on the people rather than the numbers at these schools. 

In order to foster a more personal feel at their visits, colleges should cover a brief campus guide during their visits, outlining the various resources and facilities that the colleges have available. This way, students have a better sense of what the school has to offer. 

Ultimately, college visits can be more effective and useful if they focus less on the numbers and more on the social and human aspects of their schools. Instead of discussion regarding the quantitative data of students who attend particular schools, these visits should place more emphasis on humanizing the college admissions process and be an adequate substitute for students that did not have the opportunity to visit the college campus in person. 

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