Closing the Knowledge Gap in 2020

Computer and fresh air. Woman hiding face behind laptop monitor while lying on the grass in park

Isn’t it ironic that experts have been calling for “less screen time” for a decade, and here we are spending more time than ever on our screens? Seriously, it’s easy to say, “Who wants more Zoom time?” But, 2020 has made it extraordinarily difficult for admission officers to travel to meet students as well as for families to visit college campuses. The result is a huge gap in the knowledge-gathering stage of the college admissions process today.

So, we Zoom. And we Google Meet. And sometimes, we even use our phones as phones and just talk. Should students jump on one more Zoom call? Yes, and here’s why.

First, it’s what we can do right now – meet admission reps online. They are over Zoom meetings, too, but they know that students need more than websites. Students need the human connections and the interactive conversations that can help them decide whether to apply. Many colleges also now include current students in their virtual events, giving prospective students a chance to “meet” someone who is living the life they are contemplating.

The second reason supporting more virtual programming is that virtual visits actually create more access to more schools for more students. Virtual visits and programs are a “leveling agent” for students in the search. The campus visit can be expensive – think planes, trains, hotels, food, and more. Not all students and families are able to make that financial commitment before the student has an admission decision. But, the incredible increase in online offerings gives more students the opportunity to learn more about colleges and universities. Call me an optimist, but that’s the one silver lining I’ve seen in this pandemic.

CTCL was forced to cancel all in-person information sessions and college fairs this year. And, we genuinely missed traveling to meet students, families, and counselors. We missed the professional networking opportunities while spending hours together in vans and planes, on trains and in hotel lobbies. So, we did the next best thing: We went virtual. If you missed our online programs, you can still access the recordings at

We look forward to traveling again in the future. But, until it’s safer, we’ll Zoom our way to campuses around the country and around the world. See you online.