MBU offers virtual and in-person experience for campus tours

Mary Baldwin University is offering private, single-family tours, as well as virtual tours...
Mary Baldwin University is offering private, single-family tours, as well as virtual tours online.(WHSV)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 5:07 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — Back in March, Mary Baldwin University had to stop conducting tours on campus due to COVID-19, but the staff continued to work hard to find out ways to continue sharing the MBU experience for prospective students and their families.

They came up with a virtual platform that allows users to click around campus to get an idea of what it would be like to be there in person.

“Students and families are able to see what it’d look like to be inside of a residence hall, what the dining hall looked like, the best we could do with looking at the classroom experiences as well,” Matthew Munsey, Vice President of Enrollment Management at MBU said.

MBU is now welcoming families back on campus for tours, but things are a little different than usual in order to follow proper guidelines and keep prospective students and their families safe.

“We have one family visit at a time, those families receive a tour from one of our admissions counselors, so one of our staff members on campus, and are able to walk around. We’re not, at this time, going in and out of residence halls,” Munsey said.

Students are still able to get the full experience by going on MBU’s website to take a virtual tour to check out those things they cannot see in person and to get one-on-one time with someone on campus.

“Whether it’s a faculty member in a particular department, whether it’s an athletic coach, somebody in our student engagement office, we’re able to connect those students and their families directly with that individual instead of meeting them on campus,” Munsey said.

Munsey said touring a college campus is an important part of deciding where to enroll, and they have received positive feedback on the personalized experience they have been able to offer.

“We feel that we have a great product to offer,” Munsey said. “We’ve got a great institution, and we’ve really been able to highlight in these uncertain times a lot of the great things Mary Baldwin is able to do for students.”

Over the past month, MBU has conducted about 20 tours, which Munsey said is consistent from what they usually see during this time of the admission cycle.

He said the university will not hold its large visit days this fall, and Munsey anticipates that more prospective students wanting to come to campus for a tour in the middle of the week.

Final enrollment numbers for the fall are not in yet, but Munsey says all indicators are pointing toward a strong year, despite a trend of declining college enrollment across the nation.

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