Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said the virtual tours were not live, but they are. The story has since been updated. 

Virtual tours of campus are available for prospective students who are from out of the state, out of the country or just unable to fit a visit into their schedule.

The virtual tour guides are meant to be more convenient for high school students and international students who are interested in Ball State. Students who find it hard to commit to the scheduling of on-campus tour guides can use the virtual tour guides to see around campus.

Katrina Ent, a junior public relations major, worked with Communications Manager Alix Sappington and Associate Vice President of Enrollment Services Chris Munchel to start the program.

On-campus tours are about an hour-and-a-half long and are usually only available Monday through Friday. With the time restriction, students miss some parts of campus, like insides of classrooms or some of the dining halls.

The virtual tours are more in-depth and have a better overview of campus. Munchel and Ent said the tours still have guide leaders, such as Ent, and presentations to click on and learn more about campus. There are 360-degree pictures, videos and detailed information about where the user is.

“It was a really cool experience,” Ent said. “I’d like for students, even if they’re already here, to check it out because there were some things when I was reading the script that I didn’t even know about that Ball State offered. I think that’s something good for Ball State students to know.”

Ball State created the virtual tours to increase physical campus visits, keep up with technology and competing schools, and be more inviting to students who live out-of-state and international students who want to check out Ball State.

“The benefits of creating a virtual tour helps Ball State establish a stronger and more complete presence online, which will draw more visitors, generate more quality inquiries, increase diversity and ultimately help attract the best talent,” Munchel said.

Jeremy Taylor, a sophomore architecture major, is from Richwood, Ohio. He said he wished these tours existed when he wanted to visit Ball State.

“When I came to visit, I had no idea where anything was,” Taylor said. “I did not know where all the dining halls were, so I was not aware of all the food choices.”

Taylor hopes the virtual tours will be a good place for new students to see campus before they visit the school. The tours need to be well thought-out though, he said.

“It would need to be very detailed to give a good preview or it could be confusing,” Taylor said.