What to Ask to Get the Most from Your Virtual Campus Visit

by Heather Nelson

There are a number of reasons you may be attending a campus tour online; perhaps you live too far away to visit in person or can’t take the time to travel due to other commitments. You may also be exploring a campus virtually due to safety restrictions during the COVID-19 season.

If you’re unable to explore a college campus in person, you might be wondering how to get the most out of a virtual campus tour or event. Thankfully, it’s still possible to get a great sense of college campuses, cultures, and communities online!

With internet-based admissions events on the rise, you can familiarize yourself with your prospective college choices without leaving home. And with the right questions, you can walk away with the answers you need to choose the right college for you.

What to Ask During a Virtual Campus Tour

If you already developed a list of questions you hoped to ask at an in-person admissions event, you can ask all those same questions online. Admissions counselors, professors, and even current students may be available to answer your questions during virtual open houses, information sessions, and Q&A panels.

If you haven’t given much thought to the questions you’d ask, don’t worry. Here are a few ideas to get you started (and help make that final college decision):

  • Ask about what matters to you. You might want to inquire about the different food options in the dining hall, dorm amenities, campus clubs, intramural sports, and other aspects of student life. Think about what would be most important to you—the more you learn about the social culture of the school, the better you’ll be able to see yourself as a part of it.
  • Ask about the campus environment. Alpha Joy Ferrer Lawson, M.S. ’17, transitions coordinator in the Office of Campus Life, recommended asking questions that give you an idea of the holistic campus experience. “What type of campus life environment will best assist you, an emerging young adult, in your identity and purpose development? Beyond your major, industry, and career, your college experience is about your becoming,” she said. While your academics are important, leave a little time to ask questions that paint a picture of how you can grow into the person you want to be.
  • Talk to professors in your department of interest. Ask questions about class sizes, workload expectations, characteristics of successful students, recommended classes, available resources, and department culture. Taking time to ask professors questions will help you choose the best school for you. Speaking with professors can also give you an idea of what your relationships with them could look like. “It’s important to know that your faculty cares about you as a holistic person, not just as a student in the classroom,” Ferrer Lawson said.
  • Ask about resources. College can be challenging, especially as a first-year student. “Be aware of what types of campus resources are available,” Ferrer Lawson pointed out, “In addition to academia, APU is unique in how we provide and facilitate spiritual formation, faith integration, and community building.” Knowing that your college has support systems in place for you can put your mind at ease as you enter a new life season.
  • Ask about the future. It’s a good idea to ask about upcoming academic plans, remote learning opportunities and expectations, and campus health and safety precautions. At APU, the university remains committed to students' wellbeing and creating an engaging academic experience, whether in person or online.

Protecting Your Privacy Online

When going into your virtual campus visit, remember that there are no bad questions. Come to your scheduled event prepared with all your questions, no matter how small! But when it comes to financial aid or account-related inquiries, take care to save those discussions for private chats. Asking them safely in a private conversation with your admissions counselor will ensure you get all your questions answered without putting your information at risk.

Virtual Events at Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University has regular online open house events. These events will give students a glimpse of APU and allow them to ask questions about academics, financial aid, learning outcomes, and student life.

The university also hosts online information sessions, including options for specific majors, first-generation students, opportunities to talk with current students, and more. If you missed an event that interests you, APU also provides recordings of previous information sessions, which you can watch at your convenience.

Preparing for your virtual campus visit is easier than you think. While getting on campus to walk the halls or stroll the quad might be a few months away, taking advantage of virtual tours and admission events can still help you decide where to spend the next four years. With a little guidance and preparation, you can feel confident choosing the next steps in your college career!

Are you interested in attending an upcoming online admissions event at Azusa Pacific University? Learn more about APU’s online admission events and register today.