Students at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute navigate applying for college during the pandemic

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(WIVB) – Applying to a college or a university is a different experience in the COVID-19 era, because a lot of it is being done virtually. St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute is helping its students navigate through the process.

“The toughest thing about applying to colleges at this time I think is the not being able to go to campus,” said St. Joe’s senior Tyler Martino. “Out of the five colleges that I’ve applied to I’ve only ever stepped foot on two of them so I’m kind of going in blind with the other three.”

Martino and his classmate James Crane are figuring out which college or university they want to spend the next four years at. They both started their search over the summer saying they knew the process would require more effort this year.

“It’s really been different doing virtual college sessions but colleges have done a really good job at really showing what their schools look like and really showing their good qualities,” Crane said.

The two students meet regularly with the school’s guidance counselor Canaan Clark, who helps prep students as early as their freshman year of high school. Clark encourages the students to tour a campus in-person if the option is available.

“I am letting them know that they have to be comfortable with it and the family has to be comfortable with it,” he said.

However, if the school only offers virtual tours he says places have figured out how to use technology in a way that is informative and helpful for students.

“Insitutions really did do a really good job at kind of adapting right away, offering these virtual tours and ultimately putting out a lot of information that allowed me to do my job a lot easier,” he said.

“I can see all the numbers, I can see all the stats on paper I can see all the people and the virtual conferences saying ok our school is the best this is why please come here,” Martino said. “But until you step on the campus and feel like oh ok I can be here for four years and you feel comfortable personally there. I think that’s going to be the big decision factor for me.”

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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