SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)- Nov. 15 marked an early application deadline for prospective college students, and throughout the next month student’s will receive acceptance letter and begin making commitments. Rohan Caplash is a senior at Pittsford Sutherland High School near Rochester, and like a lot of students his age he has begun thinking about his college options.
“My dream school is UNC Chapel Hill,” Caplash said, referring to University of North Carolina. “I’m not sure why, it just attracts me.”
The problem for Caplash is that he hasn’t seen Chapel Hill. In fact, Caplash hasn’t visited many of the schools he is seriously considering due to the COVID pandemic. Besides visits to Syracuse University with his family as a child, Caplash has been forced to visit his schools virtually.
“I don’t like it,” Caplash said. “It’s different being on a campus versus just looking at pictures of it, and I feel like if you’re on campus you get a feel for what it’s like.”
Peter Hagan, director of admissions at Syracuse University, understands why some students might have reservations about virtual tours. However, he says these virtual opportunities can be useful for some.
“One benefit of virtual programming is that we were able to visit students who couldn’t visit, or we weren’t able to travel because a big part of admissions is being on the road.” Hagan said.
Hagan added that for years High School student’s have made college decisions without seeing their future school.
“Think of the thousands of students who for many years didn’t see their campus until they were freshman,” Hagan said. “Especially international students, who in most cases don’t visit any schools.”
For students like Caplash that fact doesn’t make it easier to accept this new normal.
“To be honest whatever school I pick it will most likely be my first time seeing it in person,” Caplash said.