Virtual Visits Keeping a Closed Campus “Open”

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many significant changes across the Loras campus, not the least of which is closing the campus down to the public.

That presents a particularly difficult challenge for the Admission department, as campus tours play a critical role in recruiting new Duhawks. Unable to invite prospects to see the facilities in person, Loras has begun offering virtual visits to share out what makes Loras special.

“From a real-time standpoint, students and their families can currently have a 1-on-1 Zoom with their admission representative or they can join a group webinar where they can submit and have their questions answered while watching a live presentation,” Kyle Klapatauskas (’04), director of admission recruitment and retention, explained. “We’ve also finalized some video content and will soon have some engaging financial videos and even more video content up in the very near future. Our next phase will be additional webinars for specific areas of campus, as well as work on a virtual group visit day.”

The idea of virtual visits has been discussed in a smaller capacity but the current situation has necessitated making them a reality.

“We’ve been talking about a form of connecting virtually for a couple of years—whether it be a financial aid webinar or having admission reps Zoom or Skype with high school counselors in areas where we don’t typically travel. We’ve also had several conversations about video content where prospective students and their families can ‘tour’ campus from afar,” Klapatauskas said.

According to Klapatauskas, the virtual visits will continue once the campus reopens and will provide the admission representatives with an additional tool to work with as they discuss Loras with prospective students.

“I’m excited because we’re building the foundation and we’re gaining the experience to offer all of these services for students in the future,” he said. “These options aren’t replacing the actual campus visit, but will be an opportunity for students and families to connect with the Loras community when they’re not able to be on campus at any particular time.”

Anyone interested in scheduling a virtual visit can do so at www.loras.edu/visit-us

About Loras College
Founded in 1839, Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. In 2019, Loras was the second-highest ranked Catholic college in the state of Iowa according to College Consensus, the 16th Best Regional College in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report and one of America’s Top 200 Most Loved Colleges/Universities by Forbes Magazine for the third consecutive year. Loras students ranked No. 2 in the world as part of the global Peeptrade Investment Challenge while a second group ranked No. 4. For the 10th consecutive year, Loras Media Studies student-led television station (LCTV) was named the TV Station of the Year by the Iowa College Media Association (ICMA).