While the world is beginning to reopen this summer, so are college campuses. This means… summer campus visits! The best way to know if a college is right for you.

Yet, there’s a pretty good chance that most prospective students are used to everything about the college admissions process being virtual. 

So to make sure each and every student stays healthy and safe while planning productive summer campus visits, here are some things to keep in mind, think about, and consider:

1. Bring PLENTY of hand sanitizer.

You’ll be walking in and out of buildings and bathrooms all around campuses. No matter where you go, you’ll most likely be touching a door handle or two. 

2. Look up campus mask policies.

From campus to campus, whether you should wear a mask or not when walking around during your tour will vary. Do a little bit of research beforehand. 

3. Make sure you, as a prospective student, are allowed to be on campus. 

Keep in mind that some schools are still enforcing fairly strict protocols, often based on state regulations. (Here’s the Covid update on Siena. Fortunately, it’s all good news.)

4. Pre-purchase college merch.

Consider purchasing some college merch online BEFORE your campus visit, just in case the school bookstores are closed. We know you've been eyeing that oversized collegiate sweatshirt... (But don't worry, when you visit Siena, you'll get some swag from us!)

5. Take advantage of virtual walking tours. 

If there aren’t any in-person tours, look into virtual walking tours the campus may offer. If virtual walking tours are available, they will most likely be offered through a college app, allowing you to follow along with a virtual tour guide as you explore the campus. 

6. Some buildings may be off-limits. 

Make peace with the fact that you might not be able to go into some campus buildings. Some classrooms, sports facilities and dorm rooms, for example, may have restrictions as to who, and exactly how many people, can enter. Our suggestion: write down the sights you’d LIKE to see on your visit, and then find out if those buildings are open for tours. If certain areas or facilities on campus have restrictions for prospective students, get in touch with an admissions counselor and ask them to show you around via FaceTime. 

7. Exploring may look a little different.

If you’re staying overnight, keep in mind that lots of nearby businesses are either closed or have limited hours while they’re trying to restaff and go back to full capacity. But don’t let this stop you from getting to know the area! Ask an admissions counselor for dinner recommendations, activity suggestions and must-see sites while you’re here. (And if you’re Siena-bound, you’ll definitely want to check out the Capital Region.)

8. The number of guests you bring. 

Thinking about taking the whole fam on your tour? The number of guests you’re allowed to bring on campus during your visit may be limited. So, before you bring your 12-year-old twin siblings along—as much fun as they can be—double check the school’s website! 

9. Vaccinations. 

You may have to get tested, or be fully vaccinated, before you can step foot on certain college campuses. Look up the school’s rules and regulations before your visit so you’re fully prepared.

10. Do a virtual tour or info session PRIOR to your visit. 

Planning summer campus visits can be stressful and costly, especially during a pandemic. Our advice to you: make sure you REALLY want to tour before taking the next step. Try an virtual tour first.

With all of this in mind, there will always be an open invitation to visit us at Siena. We’ve got snacks, swag and personal 1-on-1 campus guides ready for ya.