Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Undergraduate Admissions has cancelled in-person campus tours and visits indefinitely, offering virtual, off-campus experiences as an alternative option. Chris Collins, associate director of the E. Carroll Joyner Visitor and Transfer Center, said there are no concrete plans for when campus visits will recommence, and in-person tours are cancelled until at least June 1.
“[This change is] obviously difficult because April and the summer are our busiest months in terms of visitors,” Collins said. “We’re really trying to get programming for all of the prospective students and their families.”
Currently, there are a variety of virtual options being offered to prospective students, including Zoom information sessions run by admissions counselors and two student ambassadors or tour guides. These students assist with the panel following the information session to answer questions about campus life that are typically asked on an in-person tour. Additionally, there is a pre-recorded virtual walk-through tour of campus available through NC State’s website, Collins said.
NC State students are the best resources for prospective students, aside from the virtual options being offered through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, according to Collins.
“Current students are really the best advocates, positive or negative, about the environment on a specific college campus,” Collins said. “Really being able to connect with those current students is the best chance that you’re going to get that on-campus feel.”
Recent NC State graduate, Marissa Martin, worked as a student ambassador and served on the board for the leadership team of the campus tour program until she graduated this May. She mentioned how much prospective students miss out on without the opportunity to visit campus in-person.
“What I really hate right now for those prospective students is that there is something to be learned on those visits about how students on campus interact with each other, the feel of the university,” Martin said.
Martin echoed Collins’s sentiments about reaching out to current students in lieu of an in-person tour.
“I think the closest you can get is really reaching out to students at that university and just asking about their experience,” Martin said. “I know that’s my favorite thing about campus visits, is getting to talk to parents and families and prospective students about my time at NC State, what it’s meant to me, and the experiences that I’ve had.”
Sarah Grace Johnson, another recent NC State graduate, also worked as a student ambassador. She is not currently giving virtual tours, but encouraged students to take advantage of them and social media to become familiar with NC State’s environment.
“On the Visit NC State website, you can see every stop that we actually would take on a tour, and there are three different tour guides that give their perspective on that spot,” Johnson said. “Also, I always recommend checking out our social media pages because I think it’s a really great way that we show off campus, and you can get the inside scoop from some students there as well.”
Options for virtual tours can be found on the NC State website for Undergraduate Admissions.