While nearly all industries have been impacted by COVID-19 over the past year, there is one kind of entity that has especially had to innovate in order to stay afloat: higher education. One of the biggest challenges that colleges are facing now as we enter the 2021 admissions season is how to effectively encourage students to attend in the Fall after such a tumultuous time. While some schools are still allowed to conduct campus tours, there are still wary attitudes regarding travel, and skepticism around in person contact. With 80% of prospective students saying that college tours are very important, this is a step that can’t be overlooked. However, the rise of virtual campus tours has been especially beneficial during this time! Even when campuses are allowed to fully conduct campus tours, the benefits of continued virtual tours will remain.
Even beyond the restrictions brought on by COVID-19, colleges and universities can increase accessibility by utilizing virtual tours far after. For some students, visiting a campus out of state is simply not feasible due to financial constraints or lack of time. By having virtual tours that allow students to feel as if they are on campus allows any student to feel as if they are there in person. It also greatly increases accessibility for students who are International students and can’t travel to the schools themselves.
From the point of view of institutions, planning college tours takes copious amounts of time and energy. With many days blocked off of tours, it can make planning that accommodates both schools and prospective students feel impossible. However, virtual tours allow for more students to see the campus on their own.
Demonstrated Student Testimonies
Another reason why the new virtual tours format is here to stay is the ability to tell curated and intentional stories through virtual videos and online tours of the campus. For example, while showing the school’s new cafeteria in the video, the online tour format can also include student testimonies about their favorite foods there and their best memories in each location. This allows prospective students to genuinely garner a feel for what it’s like to be on campus. With video, you are able to tell the story about the campus and school in a thoughtful and purposeful way. In addition to this, virtual tours can include important information like how long it takes to walk to certain locations, a 360-look at the dorm buildings and even host a virtual class where incoming students can sit in a real college classroom.
Alongside student testimonies, this is also a great way to engage donors and alumni in the recruitment process. By asking alumni to share their experiences via video, colleges can keep alumni interested and demonstrate to students the value of attending.
Cost Efficiency For All
In addition to these benefits, one of the most telling signs of longevity of the virtual tour format is the massive cost efficiency for both prospective students and colleges. With travel costs high, the average student can spend thousands of dollars to go see a college they’re interested in, not to mention the time spent traveling. With virtual tours, students are able to visit and get a feel of more schools and are given better resources to make this hard decision. On the other hand, utilizing virtual tours is very cost efficient for universities, as well.
Ready to Utilize Virtual Tours?
College tours will be one of the factions of college operations that will remain changed even after COVID-19. As shown during this time, virtual tours can increase accessibility, demonstrate student value and save money for both prospective students and colleges. If you are looking to up the quality of your virtual college tours, check www.government.media for more information.