The University of North Carolina System has launched a new virtual reality app that allows students to view 360-degree campus tours of all 16 UNC-system universities.
As students enter into the college application season, the immersive app is designed to help students who may be unable to tour college campuses due to financial or other logistical reasons get a better sense of their higher education options.
The app, which first debuted in early August of this year, is a part of the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs North Carolina initiative for college access. Over the past couple months, the GEAR UP NC program has organized several outreach events, during which high school students were able to test out the new technology.
To operate the VR software, students are given VR goggles framed by a GEAR UP NC branded cardboard box. After downloading the app, students place their phones into the box, and are able to view the app’s 16 campus videos in 3D. Each video was specifically filmed and edited to showcase the distinct characteristics of the individual UNC-system schools. As a result, students can make accurate and informed college decisions without having to visit the schools in person.
The app can be downloaded for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play store, so the app’s videos are available for anyone’s viewing. However, the program specifically targets students who are unfamiliar with the application process and experience barriers in accessing college.