Virtual Visits: Checking Out Colleges from the Comfort of Home

College visits are essential to learning which colleges are a good match. However, before students and families spend the time and money to take off on a road trip, spending some time in front of the computer can go a long way toward helping you narrow the list and get a preview of the schools you are considering. Student can preview colleges by visiting www.youniversitytv.com, which offers more than 200 short videos of college campuses. Hear directly from students at www.collegeclicktv.com through its collection of interviews with college students. A site called www.unigo.com has student reviews of their own campus along with videos. More and more colleges are added each week. Although College Prowler is best know from their “off the record” guidebooks to colleges, the site www.Collegeprowler.com offers in-depth (and occasionally irreverent) ratings for colleges. Some excellent but less well-known colleges can be found on sites for Colleges of Distinction. Citing the importance of engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes, Colleges of Distinction can help you find hidden educational treasures. The Colleges that Change Lives site features the 40 colleges recognized in a book by the same name by Loren Pope. When compiling his list, Pope selected colleges that foster collaboration between teachers and students, are committed to undergraduate education, and allow for out-of-classroom learning opportunities. If you are looking for a college with a vibrant Jewish student life, check out www.hillel.org. The site features a guide to Jewish life on campus, which includes information on a college’s Jewish population, Jewish studies, and kosher options.

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