It’s strange to be writing this blog from my couch, when typically during the first week of April, our campus tours are at capacity, our current students are full of excitement about upcoming on-campus events, and our Admissions Staff is busy planning large events and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of hundreds of admitted students. This year, though, we find ourselves sharing Furman in entirely new ways, and while we recognize that nothing could ever completely replace the feeling of being on campus to meet current students and see Furman at the height of spring, we’re excited about the creative alternatives that will now bring Furman to your living room.
During the time that our campus is closed, we are offering a number of new options, including a Virtual Information Session and Virtual Student Panel. We hope you’ll join us for an upcoming event!
Virtual Campus Visits are new to us and undoubtedly new to you, so today we want to give you some tips on how to make the most of this experience.
1. Assume that lots of colleges are doing this, make a list of schools you like, and use this time to learn more!
Once you know which college are of interest to you, it’ll be easy to put together a calendar of “events” to attend over the coming weeks.
Whether you’re a high school senior working to make a final choice or a high school student beginning the college search, we recognize that it might feel like your college selection process has hit the pause button. However, colleges across the country are working hard to make sure that you still have access to all kinds of information during this time. So, take a moment to think about a few schools you’d like to learn more about, and explore their virtual resources. You might consider virtual information sessions, video tours, or even following social media accounts.
2. Decide which events would best suit your needs.
Events come in all shapes and sizes – find the one that’s right for you.
When it comes to virtual information sessions, at Furman, you can choose between two different options:
Tuesdays through Thursdays, we offer two information sessions per day at 3:30 pm EST and 6:00 pm EST. This will include a 30 minute presentation and a time for questions. On Monday and Friday, we offer the same information session at 3:30 pm, but we add on a current student panel from 4:00-5:00 pm. If it’s your very first time learning about Furman, it might make sense to start with the shorter time commitment of a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday option. If you’d like to dive deeper, then Monday and Friday will give you the chance to hear advice and stories from some of our student ambassadors!
Please do keep in mind that Furman offers more than just a Virtual Campus Visit and Virtual Student Panel. I want to take a second to list a few additional options, just to make sure that they are on your radar.
Paladin Preview – An interactive student panel exclusively for admitted student that takes place on Wednesday afternoons. If you are a potential member of the Class of 2024, a link to sign up can be found on your Status Checker!
Ask a Paladin – A chance to connect one-on-one with a Furman student with interests similar to yours. Similar to Paladin Preview, this experience is exclusively for admitted students and the link can be found on your status checker.
Connect with Your Admissions Counselor – No matter what year you are in school, it’s never too early to reach out to your Admissions Counselor and help us get to know you! My favorite part of my job is getting to know students, advocating for them throughout their college search, and guiding them through the admissions process in any way I can.
Follow @fuadmission on Instagram – For the entire month of April, current students are taking over our Instagram Stories to tell you about their favorite memories at Furman, highlight their favorite clubs and activities, and bring Furman to you. Follow us, watch our stories, and explore our highlights to get a first-person view of Furman life.
Read our blogs – Our team of Social Media Interns have been working hard all year to document their Furman experiences and take you with them through all kinds of adventures! We hope their stories help you envision what your future at Furman might be like.
We’ve created a website to help you access all of our virtual options! It can be found here: https://www.furman.edu/admissions-aid/explore-furman-from-home/.
3. Do a little pre-research before your information session.
It’s easier to get your questions answered when you know what they are.
Before you attend a session, it can be beneficial to do a little bit of research. Take a few moments to browse the website, read about potential majors, and decide what information would give you greater clarity at this stage in your college search process. If your questions aren’t answered by the presentation, be sure to ask during the Q&A afterwards. We want to make sure that you leave with all of the information most important to you.
4. Learn the etiquette.
Everyone feels more confident when they know the rules. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
- Mute your microphone during the presentation. It’s only natural that there’s noise in your house, but there’s no need to share it with the whole audience. Just mute your mic – and then unmute when you’re joining the discussion!
- If your video is going to be on, take a second to clean up your room – or at least the part of your room that will be visible to the camera.
- Arrive a little bit early. This gives you time to get situated, and allows us time to help you troubleshoot if you’re experiencing any technical difficulties. We want to make sure that you are about to hear and see everything.
- Take a second to familiarize yourself with the platform. Find the chat function, the mute button, the video feed, etc.
5. Ask questions and interact when invited!
Help us help you! Your questions and comments help us tailor the experience specifically to you.
For our Admissions Staff, it’s tricky to give a presentation to an empty room. We genuinely appreciate it when you let us know you’re out there and you’re listening. If you have a question, let us know in the chat. If you want to chat with us after the presentation, feel free to unmute your mic/camera and have a conversation with us.
6. Follow up afterwards.
The conversation doesn’t stop when the Zoom meeting ends.
If you’re anything like me, your best questions will hit you a few hours after the presentation ends and you’ve had some time to think through all that you learned. If that happens, please don’t hesitate to reach out! One of the things that I loved most about Furman as a student was the ability to connect personally with staff and faculty. I think that one-on-one attention and care is a hallmark of the Furman experience. We hope that feeling of community starts during your college search process – long before you become an official Furman student. Your Admissions Counselor is ready and waiting to get to know you better, and you can start that conversation with us at any time.
7. An information session is only the beginning – make a plan to see campus in person in the future.
For now, you’ll find us on Zoom. Soon, you’ll find us on campus. No matter what, we’re always here to help!
For now, we hope that these virtual options help you feel that your college search process has not been hindered by the unexpected circumstances brought about by COVID-19. If your virtual visit leaves you feeling that Furman might be the school for you, we hope that you will come to campus in the future. We look forward to meeting you in person then!
We’ll hope to “see” you at a Virtual Information Session sometime soon! In the meantime, please let us know if you have questions!
Elizabeth Hawthorne ‘14
Senior Assistant Dean of Admissions