Can virtual reality help colleges recruit better?

Take it from a college kid these days…getting recruited is a huge, expensive, big deal. There’s so many options, facilities, campuses and tours to sift through, how can anyone realistically have time to make an educated decision about their future education? 

It’s a guessing game really. And a financial-based one too…majority of prospective college candidates (without a scholarship) are left grasping at straws. Most of the time they choose a school close to them, but just far away enough from their parents houses to enjoy themselves.

But during the process, they are inundated with fliers, brochures, emails, posters, potential conferences and events to go to (and whatever else their high schools can throw at them) that their heads begin to spin…which makes me think. The student experience for today’s recruiting process is severely broken. 

But what can be done about it? 


I have a 17 year old brother who is a senior in high school and is faced with one of the biggest decisions of his life…where to go to college. I’ve tried swaying him with ideas of places I should have gone, but he knows better than to live vicariously through my old aspirations…

Anyway, it’s not easy to decide. It’s head spinning for the student really…but one thing my brother mentioned lately is something I didn’t have the luxury of experiencing when I was choosing a school. Touring a campus in VR.


“What?” I said.

“Yeah, virtual reality. I can tour a whole campus in just a couple minutes and see if I like it or not.”

He told me at a recent recruiting event at his school that someone with a Google Cardboard device offered him the chance to tour their school in virtual reality.

Yeah, that’s right. A drone flyover of their campus and walkthrough of several buildings and campus facilities in full 360 immersive video. Look where you want, decide where on campus you want to tour next, the whole thing was a guided VR experience that gave them the options to look and see what they wanted. The whole thing took two minutes and easily had dozens of students in line waiting to try it out.

I’ll leave which school it was out of it, but my brain was definitely thinking…

Is VR the next big tool for colleges to market with? 


Sounds like it. I mean, if you were a college or university, wouldn’t you want the best cutting-edge tools to market with? Besides a college’s sports teams, academic record and course selection, you should be marketing your campus’ offerings to the best of your ability.

Not to mention, high school students want to take tours in VR. 

There’s no reason to fly across the country or do a weekend road trip with your parents anymore.

Colleges and universities NEED to be utilizing virtual reality to market their schools. Period. 

And if I were a betting man, I’d say VR is about to be the next best recruiting tool for colleges and universities across the country. Whoever can do it best, will win out a higher percentage of applications.

I can appreciate the amount of applications any school receives, but if there’s a technology medium out there that will help you increase the chances of a prospective student applying to your school, don’t you think you ought to try it out. 

Some, in fact are already doing it. Schools like:

Trinity University

The Savannah School of Art + Design 

The University of Hartford

Regis University 

Princeton University

Kent State

Here at Inphantry, we’ve been tapped for a lot of VR interactions lately. With our office boasting an impressive number of AR/VR devices (Microsoft HoloLens, HTC VivePlaystation VRGoogle CardboardSamsung Gear VR and more…) we’re pretty keen on how to ideate, develop and craft VR experiences for the best use possible. And we think the college and university industry is ripe for these kinds of experiences.
Feel free to get in touch with us at: to start the conversation.