For many, it's a sight-unseen choice because they can't visit every school. A Bay Area company, Vidsig, is using video chats to connect high school and college students for insight about campus life.
Video chats have opened all sorts of new ways to communicate. The newest, called Vidsig, is helping college-bound students.
"It chokes me up sometimes, to be honest with you, to have high school students say, 'oh, my gosh, this totally changed the direction of my life,'" said Jonathan Yarnold, CEO of Vidsig.
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Reese Williams is a senior at Walnut Creek's Las Lomas High School. She has applied to a dozen colleges but has visited only a couple in California due to time and expense. So she has done a dozen Vidsig video chats with students attending schools where she has applied.
"They give me answers that I can't find online on, you know, a college's website or simply through other reviews online," said Reese Williams. "I'm getting very honest, non-sugar-coated answers."
The service has grown by word of mouth and has partnered with state PTA's in three states, plus counselors at colleges and universities.
A 10-minute session costs $25. Twenty of those dollars goes to the college student.
"As a college student, extra income is also very important," said Whitney Williams, a junior at Spelman College. "So having this platform that's easy for me to use and also gives me additional money on the side has been a great opportunity."
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Vidsig screens the college students and reviews recordings of the sessions for quality.
"Right now we're at 175 schools, and we have hundreds of vetted undergrads, and this is in the face of the fact that we actually take maybe one for every 10 applications that we receive," said Yarnold.
While college applicants can't control which school might accept them, they can use Vidsig's college students to help them decide where to apply.
"They know how difficult it is to choose a college, to choose your future," said Reese Williams. "So they want to help me through this process because they do know how stressful and difficult it can be."