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College visits and interviews are unnecessary

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With the availability of Skype-like services and virtual touring the need for on-site visits to colleges at great distances and the requirement to perform local admissions interviews at similarly distant locations should fade away. Time and cost issues notwithstanding, even in person your ability to judge the reality of attending schools is affected by the content of the visits, and the reality of being a tourist and not a member of the campuses and communities.

Quality interviews and tours are still primarily “meet, greet and marketing” opportunities for businesses (including colleges). In reality, only a totally unprepared candidate fails a well orchestrated interview. The schools should already believe that their selection processes are effective, you are the right candidates and they want all final processes to go well. The efficacy (given time, costs, and potential liability) of these visits cannot really be substantiated.

Schools do not need long distance travel by you for admissions purposes. Interviews can be arranged using local web-conference services/rooms. Moreover, virtual touring is efficient, deliverable at customers' convenience and can be created to be more than sufficient to meet the needs of the institutions and consumer students/families. Ideally they could also be integrated with scheduled teleconferencing to make the tours interactive for groups. Although colleges are challenged to find companies to create high end and honest virtual tours with credible products that both the institutions and the market are willing to accept, college visits and interviews are unnecessary.

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