Campus tours are certainly one of the most helpful tools when deciding where to apply to colleges. Unfortunately, conditions have caused most schools to momentarily paused their campus tours and information sessions due to COVID-19. However, there are still schools that are going above and beyond to serve any prospective students interested in enrolling to their university.
The following is a list of schools in and around the Charlotte area that are not currently hosting official campus tours, but who are still allowing for anyone to come walk around, take a self-guided tour, and get a feel for the school.
** As the world is rapidly changing, please reach out to the college prior to your visit **
Guest post by Garrett Educational Consulting, a full-service, academic consulting firm based in Charlotte.
University of NC Charlotte
Founded in 1946, University of North Carolina Charlotte is the largest public University in the Charlotte region, and prides itself on being an Urban Research Institution. UNCC maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region. With a total of 29,600 students, UNCC is just 8 minutes from Uptown Charlotte. UNCC is comparable to UNC Greensboro and UNC Wilmington. UNCC is not currently offering in person tours, but the campus is open for an independent self-guided tour with a self-guided tour guide map provided on the website. In addition, there are multiple virtual options available on their website: https://admissions.uncc.edu/about-unc-charlotte/visit-campus
University of NC Wilmington
Founded in 1947, University of North Carolina Wilmington is a public university in a suburban town close to the beach. UNCW is about a three and half hour drive from Charlotte and is home to around 13,00 students. Students and alumni consistently reported their professors being extremely involved in their education and very hands-on. UNCW is similar to East Carolina, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. The school is not currently offering in person tours but the campus is open for independent self-guided tours. https://uncw.edu/admissions/visit/
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Founded in 1789, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university in a quintessential college town, consistently growing and expanding. Just over two hours from Charlotte and home to 25,000 students total, Chapel Hill is morphing into a medium size college town. Students and alumni refer to UNC as “the Southern part of heaven” and they take pride in UNC’s identity as “the University of the people”. UNC Chapel Hill is one of the most prestigious public universities in the South. While the school is not currently offering in person tours, the campus is open and available for independent self-guided walking tours, however, there is no building access. There are also virtual tour options online. https://admissions.unc.edu/visit/touring-carolina/
North Carolina State University
Founded in 1887, North Carolina State is a public university located in the Research Triangle near Raleigh. NC State is a large school, has highly regarded professors, a diverse student body, and plenty to do on the weekends. The campus is two and a half hours from Charlotte and is home to about 27,000 students. NC State is comparable to Clemson and Virginia Tech. Currently, the campus is not doing in person tours but it is open for independent self-guided walking tours. Additionally, there are several virtual opportunities on the website. https://admissions.ncsu.edu/visit/schedule-your-visit/#on-campus-visits
Founded in 1837, Davidson is a private liberal arts college in a small town just twenty five minutes outside of Charlotte. With approximately 1,800 students, Davidson is most similar to Washington and Lee (VA) and is one of the top liberal arts colleges below the Mason-Dixon Line. In fact, it has always been referred to as the “Dartmouth of the South”. Currently, Davidson is not offering in person tours, but the campus is open and available for self-guided independent tours with a map available outside of the admissions office. Additionally, there are virtual tour options online. https://www.davidson.edu/admission-and-financial-aid/plan-visit/tour-and-information-sessions
University of South Carolina
Founded in 1801, The University of South Carolina is a larger college that offers highly-acclaimed career training schools, as well as a academically-holistic base that provides students with a platform for further success. Sitting just an hour and a half from Charlotte in Columbia SC, USC is home to approximately 34,800 students. USC boasts a thriving arts culture that students believe makes their school stand out. Similar schools include the University of Georgia, Clemson University, and the University of Tennessee Knoxville. USC is not currently doing official campus tours, but the campus is open for independent self-guided tours. In addition, there are also multiple virtual tour and information session options on the website for prospective students or anyone seeking to learn more about USC. https://sc.edu/visit/virtual-visits/index.php
College of Charleston
Founded in 1770, College of Charleston is a mid-size school deeply connected to its location through its academic, cultural, social, and service engagement with Charleston, SC. The campus is roughly three hours and fifteen minutes from Charlotte, and has around 11,600 students in total. Similar schools include Appalachian State University, SCAD, and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Currently, all in person tours are cancelled, but there are many virtual options on the website for tours and information sessions. The campus itself is open for independent walking self-guided tours with a map provided outside of the admissions office. http://admissions.cofc.edu/campusvisits/
Washington and Lee University
Founded in 1749, Washington and Lee University is a private, liberal arts school known for its tight-knit community, engaged student body, honor system, strong alumni network, and location in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. W&L’s beautiful campus sits about three hours and forty five minutes outside of Charlotte with a total of only 2,200 students. Its smaller size allows students to engage in a family style of living. Similar colleges include Sewanee, Davidson College, Wofford College, and Middlebury College. Although the admissions office is not hosting normal tours and information sessions for prospective students, the campus is open and accessible for independent self-guided tours. https://www.wlu.edu/admissions/virtual-visit/
University of Virginia
Founded in 1819, University of Virginia’s campus, located in Charlottesville, VA, has a classic college-town feel that supports a larger student body through its excellening academics, athletics, and student embody involvement. UVA is four hours and twenty minutes away from Charlotte and has a total enrollment of 22,000. Similar schools include the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Virginia Tech, and the University of Georgia. Although UVA will not be hosting any in person tours at this time, the campus is open to walk around and explore independently of a tour guide. There are also many virtual tour and information session options on the website. https://www.virginia.edu/visit
James Madison University
Founded in 1908, James Madison University is just a few hours outside of Washington, DC in the mountains of Harrisonburg, VA. JMU is a large school with a total enrollment of 21,200 students that recognizes the importance of professional development and community service. The campus is located nearly four hours and twenty minutes from Charlotte. Schools similar to JMU are Pennsylvania State University, University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech. JMU is not currently hosting any formal tours or information sessions, but the campus is open for independent self-guided tours. Additionally, there are many other virtual options on the website.
Founded in 1872, Virginia Tech is a large university located in a small town that offers highly acclaimed academic STEM programs, as well as opportunities for research initiative and development. VT is about two hours and forty five minutes from Charlotte and is home to approximately 30,600 students. Georgia Tech, Clemson University, and University of Florida are similar to VT. Although the school is not currently doing in person tours, the campus is open for self-guided independent walking tours. Additionally, there are many virtual options for tours and information sessions on the website. https://vt.edu/admissions/undergraduate/visit.html
University of Georgia
Founded in 1785, University of Georgia is one of the nation’s oldest public universities and nourishes a large community of students from around the world in a beautiful college campus, just forty five minutes north of Atlanta. Particularly for out-of-state applicants, admissions are quite competitive. With a total enrollment of 37,600, UGA is roughly three hours and fifteen minutes from Charlotte. Similar schools include UNC Chapel Hill, University of South Carolina, and University of Alabama. UGA is not currently doing campus tours, but the campus is open and welcoming for independent self-guided walking tours for prospective students and families with a map provided. https://visit.uga.edu/tours/
Garrett Educational Consulting, LLC is a full-service, academic consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. With over twenty years experience in education and counseling, Katie Garrett guides and supports students and families that are navigating important academic decisions. Services include all aspects of academic advising, comprehensive college planning, independent day school consulting, and boarding school application guidance.