Searching for Colleges, Sight Unseen

How do you apply to colleges without being able to see them for yourself?


Kai Pandit uses Naviance to search for colleges. He shares, “people already use the metaphor that a college is a relationship, but us not being able to visit them makes it feel like a dating app, where they show us what they want us to see.”

Kal Pandit, Bear Hub Staff

That is the question seniors are scrambling to answer as they decide on the colleges they plan to apply to–and potentially attend for years to come. With deadlines coming up, seniors now have to make difficult decisions.

This fall would usually be filled with college visits where students would explore colleges. They’d familiarize themselves with campus, look around town for things to do, and learn more about majors and opportunities there.

Now, because of the pandemic, colleges are providing virtual tours, information sessions, and resources on both social media and admissions sites. “Naviance is also a very good tool for looking at colleges,” according to Matt Gonzalez. However, these new resources have left seniors with a void in their college search.

Just before speaking about his college searching experience, Matt Post reflects on his time in high school. “It went by super fast,” he says.

For instance, Ali Soherwardy tells Bear Hub, “Sometimes the environment can make it or break it, but I won’t be able to know what the school feels like until I apply.”

This sentiment echoes throughout the senior class. “It’s just aggravating, because we have to guess or base the college on others’ experiences, which could be incredibly different than if we were to go see it ourselves,” Kai Pandit shares.

Despite the inherent challenges associated with applying to college this year, the Class of 2021’s entire high school career has led them to this point. “It’s what all of us seniors have to go through,” says Rohit Narla.

And, as Matt Post notes, “It’s interesting because it’s such a big chapter of your life.”