When creating a virtual tour, the University of Montana built the experience with the institution’s first-generation students (40 percent of attendees) and Native American students (7 percent) in mind, Mary Kreta, vice president for enrollment management and strategic initiatives at the university, shares in an Inside Higher Ed article.
“Students don’t want to hear from admissions officers; they want to hear from other students,” the article continues.
Counselors working with high schoolers can use these perspectives to help students decide whether a particular college or university would be a good fit.
LEARN MORE: How to ensure quality virtual campus tours for everyone.
The Popularity of Virtual College Tours Continues to Grow
Prospective higher education students and staff don’t need to look far for these virtual tours. In addition to checking individual institutions’ websites, there are also curated sources of virtual visits.
Organizations such as YouVisit and CampusTours have built websites aggregating college and university tours from around the country. CampusTours has been helping students visualize themselves in higher education for 25 years, according to a press release. It offers virtual reality tour options for students as well as a standard device experience.
Students can also tune in to The College Tour television series as a resource. Executive producer and host Alex Boylan pitched the show, which is free on Tubi and Amazon Prime Video, after he witnessed his niece’s college search.
“Trying to help my niece navigate higher education was overwhelming,” Boylan says. “I went to my producing partners and told them, ‘Higher education needs its own television show.’”
“We want to make that college search fun, exciting and real,” he adds. “We do that through the authentic lens of real students going to school and by telling their authentic stories and bringing them to the world.”