Safety concerns for the University community, prospective students, and their family members have temporarily forced the cancellation of in-person campus visits, but the Office of Admissions is making sure that future Redbirds still have a way to get questions answered and find their fit at Illinois State.

“This is an unprecedented time for all of us, but it’s important to us that prospective and admitted students and families know we are here for them as a resource during their college search,” said Admissions Director Jeff Mavros, M.S. ’06. “We’re trying to create ways, digitally and virtually, that students can lean on us so they can continue to make an informed decision about their future—hopefully one that leads them here to Illinois State.”

While Admissions counselors are unable to visit high schools or community colleges and face-to-face meetings in Hovey Hall are not an option, they are finding ways to provide support to prospective students. For example, staff are setting up phone and online Zoom meetings. They are also always available via email to answer questions about next steps, academic options, and student life opportunities.

“This is uncharted territory for everyone. Students are anxious and upset about this disturbance to their senior year and their college selection process,” Senior Admissions Counselor Branden Delk said. “It’s our responsibility to do everything we can to reach out, let them know we understand and that we are here to support and assist them every step of the way.”

Delk finds that the biggest challenge has been making sure students know Admissions counselors are available and ready to help the enrollment process go forward, with recruitment team members maintaining the same level of spirit and enthusiasm they exude in person during campus visits.

Although it is ideal to soak in Illinois State’s sights and sounds in person, students can still take a look around without leaving their home. Recently updated in partnership with Google, Illinois State’s virtual tour offers the chance to digitally stroll across the Quad and get a sense for the campus layout.

Peek inside academic buildings. Check out the Student Fitness Center or Athletic facilities. See what a residence hall room and a dining center look like. Then be sure to reach out to members of the Admissions team, who are bridging the gap and continuing to provide individualized attention.

“Students choose Illinois State because of the sense of community and authenticity they feel from their interactions with faculty, staff, and current students,” Delk said. “If we remain true to who we are, we can still provide a transformative experience during these uncertain times.”