At the high school where I worked, there was a small visitors' lounge. On a given day, it was most likely occupied by representatives from colleges or prospective students, and their families. The administration decided to place recent yearbooks on the lounge's coffee table. I've seen that at other schools, and it's a great idea. What better way for colleges and prospective students to get to know a school and its heartbeat. After all, a yearbook is by, for and about a school.
So think about what has a college's unmistakable imprint. Yearbooks, certainly. What else, among an institution's output, can you access for a better sense of campus character?
A number of colleges maintain "Admissions blogs," some so well done, I imagine they make for interesting reading even for those not in the application whirl. The best combine helpful application tips with student narratives. You'll find dispatches from dorms and classrooms that have a YA energy and convey the enthusiasm of exercising newfound autonomy in a stimulating environment.
Right now, many of these blogs are dealing with life during Covid, and understandably so. But you can dig into their archives and you’ll find posts on road trips, college food, study abroad and campus dogs (!) Other blogs to check out: Gonzaga, Howard, MIT, Rice, Swarthmore, Tulane.
Check to see if the colleges on your list maintain an Admissions blog.