On the hilltop that St. Edward’s University has long called home, you’ll find a tightknit community of students, professors and staff members. 

But in these unprecedented times, our normally bustling campus is quiet, as we all work together to protect our students, families, friends and neighbors.

We realize that this has real and far-reaching impacts for our future students — high-school juniors and seniors who are making important decisions about college. So how do you choose a college during a time of social distancing?

Most colleges have virtual tours that let you conduct your own almost-as-good-as-actually-being-there campus visit, without leaving the comfort of your couch. And some are now offering socially distanced, in-person campus visits on a smaller scale with modified tours.  

Here’s how to make the most of virtual and in-person campus visit options.

students follow each other on social media

1. Follow the university on social.

Pick your favorite channel and follow the schools you had planned to visit. You’ll get a real-time sense of the university. And because we’re living in exceptional times, scroll through their feeds to see what campus life is like when it comes alive with students. 

Explore Austin, Texas

2. Research the city the university calls home.

College campuses may seem like they exist in a bubble, but the reality is that many students do volunteer work or complete internships in the surrounding community. Spend some time figuring out what life is like off campus and what types of opportunities exist there, too.

3. Take the virtual tour.

Most schools, including St. Edward’s, have a virtual tour (or tours) you can watch. Round out your experience by reading stories about the student experience and take a close look at the interactive campus map

Student-led campus tour at St. Edward's University

4. Take a socially distanced, in-person tour.

If colleges you’re interested in are providing socially distanced, in-person campus tours, consider signing up for one. St. Edward’s is offering small-group, outdoor-only campus visits and tours to help you get the full picture of life on the hilltop. And guests are welcome to take their own outdoor walk around campus, following our safety guidelines.

Student chats with admission counselor online

5. Contact the admission team.

We’re all working from home, but we would much rather be welcoming prospective students to campus. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still talk with you. Our admission counselors would love to have a phone conversation or schedule a Zoom or Google Hangout to get to know you and answer any and all of your questions. 

student on computer

6. Talk with current students.

If you know graduates from your high school who attend the colleges you’re looking at, reach out directly to them and have a conversation via FaceTime or text about their experiences. Ask them about their classes and professors, what organizations they’ve gotten involved with, and their favorite parts of college life.

Students receive feedback from professor during drawing class

7. Explore academic and major pages.

There’s no need to declare your major before starting college, but take some time now to explore majors and minors, as well as the academic pages on a university’s website. This will give you a sense of what you could study — you may find options you hadn’t previously considered (Bioinformatics? Video Game Development?). You’ll get an idea of the types of careers graduates from a certain major pursue. And feel free to reach out to any faculty contacts. They’re teaching from home now, too, and would love to talk with interested students!

We look forward to seeing your smiling face on our beautiful hilltop campus soon. Until then, we’re here to support your college search process any way that we can.