Created By: Edsouth Services
Audience: Students, parents, teachers
Focus: College profiles, college planning
Big Picture: This well-organized, clean-looking website announces its reason to be right in its name: profiles of more than 1,300 colleges, with 360-degree “tours” as the centerpiece of each profile. The tours often include a look at the entire campus, as well as up to about ten key locations within (like student centers, gymnasiums, and libraries). But the site doesn’t just stop at college tours—there are resource sections for students, parents, and educators, including articles on all aspects of financial planning and career interest. Students can create profiles that allow them to bookmark colleges they like, as well as articles that pique their interest. Bonus: Registered users can enter a scholarship giveaway for a free chance to win $1,000 toward tuition.
Big Challenge Solved: While the tours aren’t highly interactive (rotate 360 degrees, zoom in, zoom out), they are high quality enough to really put the user at the scene—students can get a rich visual sense of the campus before making the decision to visit or not.
Must-Use: Click on For Educators and use the School Counselors link to discover a whole suite of free downloadable resources, including handouts like Steps for Getting a Scholarship and copies of the eCampusTours Advisor magazine.
Most Unique Tool: The site’s Shopping page allows students to use Dorm.com and Amazon to peruse and purchase a whole host of college supplies—including clothes, furniture, and textbooks—all without having to leave the page (until it’s time to buy, that is).
Best Middle-School Student Tool: Once students create a profile, they can subscribe to the ELFI Standard college-planning newsletter, a monthly e-reader that’ll help turn the younger kids into college-prep pros before they even step foot into high school.
Best High-School Student Tool: High-schoolers should check out the Campus Life articles under For Students—seven categories each boast dozens of essays and tip sheets for things like budgeting, moving, and adapting to life after college.
Protip: It’s not called eCampusTours for nothing—go right to the Campus Tours page, where there’s a robust college search engine, a listing of the most popular tours, and links to featured articles.