Rising high school seniors prepare to choose college virtually

Published: May. 27, 2020 at 12:53 AM EDT
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The summer is usually an exciting time when rising high school seniors get a chance to visit college campuses.

This year students have been trading in the tour groups and finding other ways to narrow down their options.

“We wanted to still be able to reach out to our visitors no matter where they might be,” said Virginia Tech’s Director of Undergraduate Admissions Juan Espinoza. “It’s clear there’s still a demand, and the demand at Virginia Tech is at an all-time high. We’re doing everything we can during this difficult time to reach students and be available for any questions.”

At Virginia Tech, prospective students can walk through a

, looking around while a current Hokie points out areas of interest. Although these videos around campus are prerecorded, students also can attend a live virtual visit day to have their questions answered.

“I feel like our futures have always been uncertain due to college debt and everything and this just makes it harder,” said rising Blacksburg senior Elizabeth Jackson.

Jackson was fortunate enough to squeeze in a few in-person campus tours before restrictions kicked in.

“It was really helpful to see the places and ask as many questions as I could of the student guides,” Jackson said. “Now it’s like I don’t have any control over what my future might hold.”

Jackson and her classmates worry it’s not quite the same online, but they are grateful colleges are trying to ease the burden, like making standardized tests optional.

“We’re here to make the process easier and more fair for them,” Espinoza said. “Even during a good year there’s going to be high anxiety. With the current situation it’s heightened even to a new level. We’re doing everything we can to show students that Virginia Tech is a great option, but it’s also an accessible option for them during this time.”

Jackson is optimistic for a more normal senior year.

“Hopefully I’ll be successful enough that a year from now I know what school I’ll be going to in the fall and I’ll be happy with that choice,” she said.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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