POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 8, 2013
Are you and your offspring spending a fortune on college tours? Narrow your options first with a virtual tour.
» What it does: This website gives you a look at 400 college campuses and universities in the U.S., Europe, Africa and Latin America.
» What's hot: Parents and prospective students can peruse college after college without opening their wallet to pay for a plane ticket. The tours use virtual guides, panoramic photos, videos and my favorite: photo features that let you see inside the cadet chapel at West Point or stroll around Pepperdine and its Beaman Patio overlooking the Pacific.
» What's not: The tours are thorough, but nothing can take the place of actually being there. You don't feel any energy. I wanted fewer marketing photos of buildings and more "real" photos that capture the spirit of what and who you can expect to see on campus. The sounds of a pep rally, sporting event or a professor lecturing in front of a big freshman class would be more realistic.
--Jay Leo / Los Angeles Times