I: And sometimes I hear students say ‘Oh, why do I need to go to see the campus in person? I’ve taken the virtual tour online!’ How do you respond to a student that says that?
J: Well, I think that the virtual tours are good for an introduction. I think it’s a great way for them to get an introduction to the college. I think that virtual tours are great if you can’t get to the college to visit the campus. Sometimes you can’t get to all of them. Researchers have shown that students believe that college visits are still the most influential resource in introducing students to college. So on-campus visits are important. They are also the most influential factor for getting a feel for specific colleges and that is because that’s the way you get a feel for the actual culture of a community. Once on campus you can talk with students, you can see what the interaction is like between students and faculty members. There’s just really no substitute for being on campus and getting that. There are any number of different things that kids come away with; sometimes they’ll get a gut feeling on a college right away and say ‘This is for me’ or ‘Oh, I really love it’. There’s something about being on that college campus that allows them to get that feel of the environment and the community that they can’t get just by watching something on a video.