NIU Expanding Virtual Admissions Efforts

Apr 8, 2020

Northern Illinois University is expanding its admissions campaigns further into the virtual space in response to COVID-19.

The university had already offered photos, overhead campus drone tours, and mailing campaigns to prospective students. But another focus is on making up for the “day visits” that social distancing prevents families from taking part in. Vice President for Enrollment Management Sol Jensen explains.

“They have opportunities to sign up for a one-on-one personalized video conference with an admission counselor. They can do it as a group. Just like we would have normal daily tours with a group, they can sign up for a specific time and be a part of that group and listen to other peoples’ questions they may have.”

He says measures like this have further use beyond the pandemic. 

“Actually, it helps some students who may not be able to physically drive out to DeKalb," he said. "Maybe they’re from out-of-state, they’re an international student, or for one reason or another, it’s just challenging to get out to DeKalb."

To replicate the experience of a campus tour, NIU set up a website with virtual walking tours of campus, photos of different areas, and even overhead tours through drone footage.