3 Ways Students Can Incorporate Technology in College Visits

Using mobile and Web applications can give students a new perspective on schools.

A federal appeals court has rejected a Verizon challenge to a Federal Communications Commission rule.

A federal appeals court has rejected a Verizon challenge to a Federal Communications Commission rule.

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3. Explore 3-D virtual tours: Schools have long provided virtual tours to reach students unable to make an initial trip to campus.

"Current students have told us that our website and virtual tour were their first points of connection with TCU," acknowledges Rainwater. "If a student doesn't have the capability of visiting campuses that are beyond driving, the virtual tour maybe tips the scale in deciding that [the university] is a place they are interested in."

While prospective students have options for visiting college campuses from home, one company is providing students with a virtual tour that allows them to explore custom built, true-to-scale versions of campuses.

Designing Digitally has partnered with eight schools thus far, including the United States Air Force Academy, notes Andrew Hughes, the company's president, to build tours that allow students to create their own digital avatars and engage with other students. "Kids like to interact and play games," he adds. "They don't just like to look at pictures."

Much like a real video game, students can join a tour led by an actual college admissions professional, and they can even ask questions like they would in a physical tour, Hughes says.

"One of the things that has set us apart is that our virtual campus tour allows students and admissions reps to communicate in real time," he notes. "And that's what students and families want—instant feedback."

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