Choosing a college or university is one of the biggest decisions in a young student’s life. With so many recruitment emails, university websites and admission information packets to look through, it can be overwhelming. Thousands of colleges are available in the US alone—how can students know which school is best?
CampusReel wants to make that decision easier. Through a catalogue of over 17,000 videos, students can take virtual tours to experience a college’s campus, social life and dormitory-style housing. The extensive video platform reaches two million students per month in college search engines, such as CollegePlannerPro and Teen Ink.
The startup has also developed an API (application programming interface) that can be used by test prep companies, college counselling companies and the schools themselves.
CampusReel is free to use for students and parents. Once logged in, users can track their research progress and bookmark their favourite videos. Over time, they will start to receive customised recommendations and get an authentic feel for the school, without having to pay to visit.
The website also offers a college comparison tool to help students look at the schools’ objective data as well as hard-to-measure features. Users can compare aspects of daily life including weather at the campus, taste of the food and whether the college will “feel like home.”
“The college campus and surrounding community will literally make up your day-to-day life at school,” the company advises. “Each college comparison guide offers thousands of videos of college campuses so you can see what they’re really like. Ideally, you’ll visit each school in person too, but you’ll find that campus tours start to blend together and it’s tough to remember the differences. That’s why these videos are so powerful.”
When CampusReel launched, student ambassadors were hired to film their own tour videos, which were then vetted by the company before they were loaded onto the website. Since then, the company has become so popular that content creators are willing to create videos for free.
Once 10 videos are submitted for a school, the company creates a new profile. Since its founding, over 350 US colleges and universities have been posted on the platform.