College visits have come to a major halt as the country battles a global pandemic. Breaks and long weekends usually bring many high school visitors to college campuses to learn what institutions are all about – well, not for the time being.
As we all try to think quickly on our feet of ways that we can motivate and encourage students to stay in the game, college tours are not completely lost. There are virtual college tours!
Now, we know that nothing can beat an in-person experience. But if I may say so myself, I’m quite impressed with the quality and intuitiveness of some of the virtual tours being offered by colleges and universities.
Last month, we hosted a webinar with the YouVisit Foundation to learn how the organization has leveraged virtual college visits to help expose students to college and enable them to explore campuses. This platform is especially important, as it allows students and families who don’t have the financial means to physically visit a campus to have a somewhat similar experience. Students utilizing the YouVisit platform have access to virtually visit about 650 colleges and universities. And, it’s free.
You may find that students are experiencing high levels of boredom, and virtual college visits can be an engaging way to fill their time. Maybe a student doesn’t have an idea of what they’re looking for in a college. Virtual tours are a great way to introduce students to the various institution types (public, private, two-year, or four-year), geographies (rural, urban, and suburban), classroom experiences (experiential, hybrid, online, etc.), and current college students.
Additional YouVisit platform features:
There’s an app. Search in either your Apple Store or Google Play for "YouVisit Colleges." Students can download the app and access the platform on multiple devices, including smartphones, laptops, or desktop computers.
Students with limited internet access may pre-download tours and watch the tours offline.
In the event that a specific college isn't available on the YouVisit platform, students, adivsers, etc., should go to the institution's website directly to see if it offers a virtual tour.
Other websites you may consider for virtual college visits:
College Confidential. On this site, you can start your college search immediately, without an account. You can jump into searching by your desired major or state.
Campus Reel. This is a highly notable college search and virtual tour site. Campus Reel is a free resource, but you must create an account (no strings attached). This is a useful site for students who want to track their progress.