College Visits Made Easy

By Joe Dysart

Encouraging high school students to pursue post-secondary education may have gotten a little easier, thanks to a new online tool called CollegeWeekLive at www.collegeweek

Designed as a one-stop shopping alternative to the task of schlepping around the country and visiting colleges in person, the online fair brings students and college recruiters together for informative seminars, one-on-one chats, and virtual tours of campuses.

The event -- rendered in 3-D virtual reality -- serves as an excellent first look at institutions, during which students and parents can pare down the list of potential colleges they want to investigate further.

It also meets college-bound teenagers where they live -- on the Internet.

Some of the biggest names in higher education -- including Rutgers, West Point, and Northeastern -- have participated in the fair, which is free for students and parents. The event is held periodically throughout the year. Other past participants have included Temple, George Mason, Oregon State, Christian Brothers, Kansas State, and Old Dominion.

“Families can save time and travel costs by booting up their home computers to check out hundreds of colleges through one website,” says Michael Lewis, CollegeWeekLive’s vice president of marketing.

Indeed, at CollegeWeekLive’s fair in March, more than 40,000 participants registered to attend the event. More than 300 college admissions representatives from more than 150 colleges and universities interacted with the students, according to Lewis.

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