The college visit in North Carolina just got easier, and way cheaper. On Wednesday, the University of North Carolina system announced a new virtual reality app that allows students to “tour” the state’s 16 university campuses without leaving home or their high school.

It’s the first university system in the nation to offer virtual tours of all its campuses. It was made possible through a program aimed at stimulating college enrollment among lower-income, rural and first-generation families.

The GEAR UP NC VR app is free and available in the Apple and Google stores. Twenty-one high schools that are part of the state’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs will receive cardboard virtual reality headsets and earbuds to be able to coordinate class tours of UNC campuses.

The idea is to provide tours of university campuses for high school students who otherwise don’t have the means to travel across the state with their families. Those without access to the virtual reality headsets can still watch the 360-degree videos of all the UNC system campuses on their phones.

The project involved more than 350 hours of filming of the university campuses. School is in and tuition is due. Read more from…

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