University Business - July 2009 - (Page 67)

Out of the Gym, onto the Desktop Online college fairs can reach more students than fairs held in the high school gym. The experience offered by the three main vendors varies considerably. By Ann McClure Online college fairs are the cutting edge in recruiting. Are they right for your institution? I N THE QUEST TO REACH AS MANY STUDENTS AS POSSIBLE, ADMISSIONS officers in higher ed are leaving no pixel unturned. “Colleges are no longer limited to barriers of infrastructure,” says Megan Stewart, director of higher education for Adobe. Taking advantage of the wider availability of broadband internet access, and tapping into the Millennial Generation’s love of all things online, the traditional college fair has made the leap from the high school gym to the virtual world. Online college fairs offer an experience somewhere between a website and Second Life, the online world populated by digital versions of people and buildings. e big players in the virtual college fair world are CollegeWeekLive and EducationXpo, the latter a offering. Considering the first CollegeWeekLive event took place in November 2007 and EducationXpo opened a year later, it’s safe to say the technology is still cutting edge. e new kid on the block is VirtualCollegeFairs, which launched last summer and offers a more traditional navigation experience. For the big two, attendees see either a convention center or a college quad, and they navigate to the various areas of the “fair” with their mouse, rather than steering an avatar. VirtualCollegeFairs presents a static page with panels for the various participating higher education institutions, making access to their information a little more direct. The Virtual Experience VirtualCollegeFairs is set up as “a permanent resource for students with college booths that are active all the time,” explains CEO Andrew Stewart. Someone at each participating institution must July/August 2009 | 67

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - July 2009

University Business - July 2009
Editor’s Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Financial Aid
Human Resources
The State of Student Aid
Out of the Gym, onto the Desktop
EduComm 2009
Internet Technology
Community Colleges
End Note
SPECIAL SECTION: Annual Directory of Higher EdConsultants

University Business - July 2009