COVID-19 stalls college visits


The coronavirus outbreak has cancelled college visits which, for many, has impacted college choices.

Keegan Spitz '20, Staff Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to make major adjustments and sacrifices. The closings of schools have caused seniors to miss out on their final days and memories in high school. These closings have also closed down colleges and universities, making seniors still visiting and choosing where they plan to attend college unable to go on campus visits. This affects the decision as to where those students plan on spending their next four years much more complicated.

Having her future visits canceled, Maddy Hass ’20 based her decision on the school that she is most familiar with from in person and virtual tours.

“The coronavirus affected my college decision because I was not able to visit all of the colleges I was planning on visiting,” Hass said. “I had to decide on a college that I already had seen.”

Cailin Gallagher ’20 was looking for reassurance as she was planning on revisiting her choices one more time before her final decision.

“I was planning on visiting both of the schools one more time before I made my decision,” Gallagher said. “My decision would have been a lot easier if I could have seen each school again.”

The school closings have also compromised the orientation days as well. Patrick Hopper ’20 was looking forward to his, but is worried that he will not be able to be a part of those.

“I will not experience the orientation days, and I heard the older students loved those days,” Hopper said.

Many colleges are offering virtual tours as an attempt to make up the cancellation of campus visits. This helped play a role in Hass’s decision.

“I was really considering Grand Valley, but changed my mind and decided to attend Western [Michigan] University after virtual tours and past experiences,” Hass said.

Hopper wishes he could have had a better feel for the colleges he was considering, because of the impact this decision will have on his life.

“Deciding on a college is a really big decision. It is tough that I can not get a better feel of the culture and campuses of each school,” Hopper said. “That is a big reason why I chose to attend Ross Business at [the University of] Michigan. At least I know I am attending a school with a good business program.”

Gallagher was deciding between College of Charleston and Michigan State University. The lack of one more visit caused her to pick the more familiar campus and community.

“I was between College of Charleston and Michigan State. I chose Michigan State because I have been there a lot of times and I know what the school is like,” Gallagher said. “Choosing College of Charleston would have been more of a risk.”

Hass was ultimately able to make her decision of attending Western Michigan. However, the lack of traditional campus visits made the decision a lot tougher, and less conventional.

“If the pandemic never existed I would have more information about the colleges I am interested in,” Hass said. “If the tours were not canceled I feel like my decision would have been a lot easier and less stressful.”