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3 steps Colorado State University took to improve its campus visits

Kyle Freelander October 28, 2021
Colorado State University

Learn how Colorado State improved campus tours — increasing the number of tours taken, improving student engagement, and positively impacting enrollment.

By: Kyle Freelander

Campus tours play an important role when it comes to matriculation. 

Recent research shows that 85.1 percent of students consider a campus visit to be of considerable importance to their search process but travel time and cost, language barriers, and the COVID-19 pandemic can hinder prospective students and their family’s ability to participate in campus tours (impacting applications and enrollment). 

It doesn’t have to be that way. Just ask leaders at Colorado State University (CSU) where, after an increase in completed tours, they saw an increase in enrollment for the fall 2021 semester — including welcoming their third-largest undergraduate class at the Fort Collins flagship campus.

Like hundreds of other higher education institutions across the country, CSU uses Full Measure’s Campus Visit Experience to take their tours to the next level — whether in-person or virtual. Using mobile navigation, augmented reality, and geotagging, the solution helps institutions engage and excite prospective students by creating campus visits that are personalized, accessible, and authentic. 

In the first 250 days at CSU, the solution is already garnering positive results. Here’s how they did it — and the impact of their efforts so far:


1. Focused on mobile-first tour experiences, increasing engagement and access 

Virtual tours are critical when it comes to increasing access to campus visits, enabling students to explore campuses without having to leave their homes or incur travel costs. But not all virtual tours are created equal, and not all will successfully reach and engage prospective students. 

CSU meets prospective students where they’re already at — their phones — and moves beyond basic map tours, offering interactive virtual and self-guided visits that enable students and their families to take tours whenever their schedules allow (even outside of typical business hours). 

In the first 250 days, more than 13.7K tours were taken at Colorado State and over half (57%) were taken after typical business hours. 

The institution also recognized an opportunity to better engage with Spanish-speaking students and their families. They launched a Spanish version of their general student tour, which quickly became one of the most popular mobile tour offerings and inspired an increase in language offerings for in-person tours as well. 

CSU’s Tour Español is the institution’s second most popular tour option with more than 1,200 tours taken in Spanish. 

2. Created opportunities for relevant and personalized campus visits

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for campus tours. At least there shouldn’t be.

To excite and engage prospective students, tours need to be relevant and as unique as the students taking them. 

At CSU, prospective students can choose between 11 preset tours — spanning everything from general campus overviews to the transfer student experience to specific colleges — or completely personalize their tour by selecting their interests. 

2,447 custom tours were completed In the first 250 days with the most popular interest areas being mechanical engineering, life outside the classroom, and political science.

3. Leveraged student-generated content to provide an authentic tour experience

The glossy staged photos of campus life may look pretty, but students increasingly want a more authentic perspective of the campus, its culture, and what it’s really like to be a student there.  

To show prospective students an authentic and more complete view of the campus, CSU leverages student-generated content (including images, videos, and testimonials) — bringing current students to the forefront of tours. These are organized by tour stop, providing easily accessible and digestible content that is both relevant and interesting.  

“Students have many options when it comes to higher education. Engaging them early on, enabling them to experience our campus on their schedule, and giving them an authentic view of our community is critical in getting them excited about applying to and attending CSU.”  — Kelsey Stamm, Assistant Director of Recruitment, CSU

Ready to take your campus tours to the next level? Read the full case study and sign up for a demo.



Kyle Freelander (she/her/hers) is a passionate writer, former educator, and lifelong learner. She has taught English literature and writing courses in higher education, writing workshops in K-12 schools, and English and ESOL courses as a private tutor for students pre-K and up. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a BA in English (minor in Linguistics) from the University of Mary Washington. She currently serves as the Head of Content at Full Measure Education.

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