ASU’s Biggest Virtual Campus Tour Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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*This story was originally published on ASU News*

As COVID-19 continues to make visiting college campuses a challenge for prospective students and families, ASU is stepping up and taking an innovative approach to allow students to tour ASU, all from the comfort of their living room sofas. Introducing the ASU College Tour, a 60-minute episode about ASU in the new Hollywood-produced series, “The College Tour,” now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Roku.

The new series was the brainchild of host Alex Boylan, an Emmy-nominated television personality and producer, most recognizable as a past winner of “The Amazing Race.”

“My niece is now looking at colleges and with her family on a budget, she couldn’t tour as many colleges as she hoped,” Boylan. “I thought, what an amazing opportunity to showcase different universities to place-bound students around the country through a professionally produced television show.”

“The College Tour” was born and ASU is one of the first universities to be featured.

“In a challenging year for many families, we knew that we needed to put in action bold ideas to help prospective students learn about the amazing university experience waiting for them at ASU,” said Matt Lopez, associate vice president of enrollment services and executive director of admission services. “Giving our current students the chance to tell their stories on platforms as far-reaching as Amazon Prime Video and Roku was an exciting way to meet families where most of us are right now – at home.”

Throughout the episode, which provides a sweeping visual tour of ASU, 18 Sun Devils share their personal academic journeys at the most innovative university in the country. One of those students is Lily Baye-Wallace, a mechanical engineering major and dance minor, whose segment on the show provides viewers an overview of ASU’s world-class academics.

“I was thrilled to participate in ASU’s episode of The College Tour,” Baye-Wallace said. “I want to help prospective students understand that while ASU is by no means exclusive, it is home to incredible research and academic options that enabled me to graduate early with experience in a variety of fields by simply asking me to participate. My story is not unique either. I’m surrounded by peers that have multiple majors, minors and graduate a semester or even a year ahead when that’s often impossible — not to mention expensive — at private universities.”

Nikhil Dave, a double major in neuroscience and innovation in society, is another student featured. He narrates his story called, “What kind of university the world needs.”

“Our focus on accessibility is something that’s unique to Arizona State University, not only as a university, but for its students,” said Dave, a recent XPRIZE winner who assisted with ASU’s COVID-19 response efforts through the university’s Luminosity Lab. “In emphasizing inclusivity, our students have the opportunity to encounter diverse perspectives and different backgrounds, challenging their thinking and pushing them to grow.”

ASU’s episode focuses on student choices and personalized learning experiences available on ASU’s distinct campuses as well as through ASU Online. The desire to learn on a smaller, tight-knit campus with a focus on technology is one of the reasons why Rachael Shantz chose the Polytechnic campus. She’s a junior majoring in aeronautical management technology (air traffic management). In “The College Tour,” she explains that she wanted a small college environment with the benefits of a large institution.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the Polytechnic campus is truly where I belong,” Shantz said. “And I firmly believe that with all of the options and opportunities available to you at Arizona State, you can find where you belong too.”

“We are deeply impressed and grateful for the amazing students that volunteered their time and talents to tell the ASU story so well,” said Kent Hopkins, vice president for enrollment services. “When designing new ways for prospective students to experience ASU, we always want to highlight the stories of the amazing students that make up our university community. Our students are our best storytellers, and these 18 students have created something special for high school students around the world to learn about ASU.”

Boylan, the show’s host, tells ASU News that the crew was impressed by the inclusivity of ASU during filming, as well as ASU’s diversity of locations and experiences available to students.

“Almost every student touched upon inclusivity in the episode and it was so awesome to see it up close and personal while filming on campus,” Boylan said. “The second big takeaway is how impressive ASU students are. I’ve been on many college campuses and after meeting these students, one thing is clear – these young people are going to change the world for good.”

Get a sneak peek of the episode.


ASU Hosted Drive-In Events to Aid Students in Filling out FAFSAs

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*This was previously published on Ed Scoop and written by Betsy Foresman

Arizona State University hosted several drive-in events to help students fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms last week, setting up Wi-Fi hotspots and printers in a parking lot where volunteers assisted families in the financial aid application process.

Typically, workshops and office hours would provide in-person, individualized help to students and their families who are filling out the FAFSA form for grants, scholarships and federal loans, but university leaders said the pandemic forced it to take a different approach this year.

“If students don’t fill out FAFSA, they leave significant funding on the table for college,” Sylvia Symonds, Arizona State University associate vice president for outreach, said in a press release. “FAFSA completion is so critical for educational opportunities, and it creates a ripple effect in families’ economic futures.”

For the drive-in events, which were hosted by ASU and the Be a Leader Foundation, an organization that supports college applicants, vehicles arrived at several Phoenix-area high schools where ASU staff were waiting to provide assistance. Wi-Fi hotspots in the parking lots allowed applicants to connect to their online FAFSA forms, and printers and personal devices were also available to students and their families if needed.

“Many schools are not doing in-person FAFSA events, and students are missing out on the in-person help,” Shayne Johnson, an outreach coordinator for College Success Arizona, which helped organize the events, said in a press release. “In order to stay safe yet still serve students we felt like a drive-in event allowed us to reach the maximum number of students.”

The drive-in events last week assisted more than 70 cars of students and their families, according to ASU. Several additional drive-in events are scheduled for February.

Students can also receive help through a FAFSA hotline or though the university’s Benji chatbot, a tool the university says can answer more than 600 questions about the federal aid application.

Upcoming Events at ASU Prep Digital and ASU

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As the fall semester comes to a close and we look ahead to the spring, we’re excited to share a list of upcoming events for students, parents, and educators. From networking opportunities to talent shows and everything in between, ASU Prep Digital and Arizona State University are ready to help you fill up your calendar!

Take a look at what’s on the horizon:

ASU Innovation Week 2020

Now to December 11, you’re invited to virtually participate in Innovation Week at ASU. This week is designed to take attendees through the innovation journey—from idea to implementation—while giving you opportunities to network and learn new skills in a range of sessions covering different topics. In fact, ASU Prep Digital will be hosting two of its own sessions: ASU Prep Digital Code Academy and ASU Prep Family University. Each session will feature a different topic and project, so visit the website to learn more and reserve your spot!


On January 9, 2021, ASU will be hosting REMOTE K12, the Connected Teacher Summit. This free, virtual event will provide K-12 teachers with effective techniques, tools, and insights geared toward online/blended learning while giving attendees the opportunity to engage with colleagues from all around the country. Teachers can even earn an ASU-certified Professional Development Credential by attending the event and filling out a post-show survey. Visit their website to learn more about this event and the sessions that will be offered.

ASU Prep Digital’s Got Talent

January 14, 2021 will be a night to remember as you cheer on your fellow Sun Devils during ASU Prep Digital’s Got Talent! Stay tuned to our social media for more information as the event gets closer.

Free Meals for Students

Every Friday, ASU Prep and ASU Prep Digital families are invited to pick up 5 free breakfasts and 5 free lunches for children in the household under 18. No proof of enrollment is required. Please visit one of the designated pickup locations listed below:

ASU Prep Phoenix Campus

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

735 E Fillmore St

Phoenix, AZ 85006


ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate Campus

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

5610 S Central Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85040

Enrollment Deadlines

Not part of our community of learners yet? There’s still time to join us! Applications are now open for the spring semester, but spots are filling up fast. Check out the deadlines below and begin the application process by visiting our website.

  • December 18 is the last day to enroll early as a full-time student and begin on January 11, 2021. All required documents must be submitted by the deadline in order to have your application reviewed.
  • Interested in taking concurrent courses with ASU? Be sure to submit your course request by the following deadlines for each session:
    • Session A: Submit by 12/31/20 for a 1/11/21 start date
    • Session B: Submit by 2/26/21 for a 3/15/21 start date
    • Session C: Submit by 12/31/20 for a 1/11/21 start date
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updates on upcoming events!

ASU Launches Comprehensive Summer School 2020 Program for Learners at all Levels

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(Tempe, Ariz., April 27, 2020) – What does Summer School look like for students in 2020? In a period of economic uncertainty with shifting job markets and employment opportunities that are evaporating in some places and springing to life in others, higher education remains one of the best investments people can make. And for those who find themselves thrust into a new set of circumstances by changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, universities offer a dynamic place to explore options and quench the thirst for learning something new.

To meet the demand for Summer School 2020, beginning May 18 Arizona State University will be offering more than 5,000 courses at a reduced rate to people looking for new learning opportunities and for students at all levels – including students who are currently enrolled in good standing at any university in the United States. Application fees for college students enrolled at other universities will be waived, and scholarships are available for most admitted and currently enrolled ASU students.

Named by U.S. News & World Report as the most innovative university in America for five consecutive years, ASU is stepping up to meet the needs of learners who want to keep pace, get ahead or catch up in the distance learning environment that now defines education in America. Classes will be provided in both the traditional online format and in a fully interactive, digitally-enhanced format for:
  • Learners at all stages can learn through ASU for You, most of which is free, and can take a course in a subject matter of interest with ASU Open Scale, with the option to convert it to university credit if they later choose to do so.
  • Any university student in the U.S. in good standing at their home college or university may enroll in summer courses through a streamlined application process that takes 15 minutes with approval within 48 hours.
  • Admitted ASU students who wish to get started right now on their university education will receive a $500 Summer 2020 Award for every three credit hours enrolled.
  • High school sophomores and juniors who are on track for college and want to begin earning college credit through ASU Digital Prep as well as ASU Open Scale classes.
  • Continuing ASU students will continue to have access to all ASU summer courses. For Arizona residents, financial aid is available.
ASU has also transferred other services for students to a digital environment to ensure continuity of all aspects of the university experience during COVID-19 and during Summer School 2020. For example, ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services is fully virtual, offering drop-in career and internship advising. ASU Counseling Services have moved entirely online and a peer-led Zoom support group has been created, Devils 4 Devils Support Circles, for students to support and connect with each other while taking classes online and practicing social distancing. Many student events and programs have also transitioned to a virtual format, with a wide variety of activities and events still available.
For convenience and to meet varying schedules, ASU will be providing more than 20 of its most popular, sought-after classes in a rolling rotation of new summer semesters offered with multiple start dates, beginning May 18. For more information, please visit:


About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

5 Tips For High School Students Applying to College

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Now that October is in full swing, it’s time for high school seniors to buckle down and get their college applications ready to submit. With the November 1 early admission deadline fast approaching, we’ve rounded up some of the best tips for high school students who are feeling stressed about the process and looking for guidance as they vie for a spot at their top college choices for the fall 2019 semester.

Create a calendar to keep track of application deadlines.

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re juggling classes, extracurricular activities, and college applications. However, one missed deadline during this process can have a negative impact on your chance to gain admission to the school of your choice or financial aid opportunities. Be sure to have all of your deadlines written out on your calendar and check them on a daily basis to stay on top of everything.

Use the Common Application for a stress-free process.

There’s nothing worse than having to remember multiple usernames and passwords to access your multiple college applications. If you’re looking to streamline the process, the Common Application is the best way to go. You can enter your general information, such as name, address, education, and extracurricular activities, one time and have it sent to multiple colleges at once. The best part is that more than 750 colleges accept it, including Arizona State University!

Complete the “optional” portions of the application.

It may be tempting to skip out on parts of the college application that say “optional,” especially if it’s the essay, but completing those sections will set you apart from the other applicants. If colleges are asking for additional information, it means they want to learn more about YOU and what you will offer to their university and community. They also want to see that you’re dedicated to gaining admission, so put in the extra effort!

Reach out to your teachers for letters of recommendation.

You’ve got the grades, the extracurricular activities, and the killer college admission essay—what are you forgetting? Help your application stand out by asking a few teachers to write recommendation letters for you. Choose teachers that you’ve built a relationship with, whether it’s through classes or clubs you’re part of.

Ask a teacher to proofread your college admissions essay.

First impressions are everything—and your college admissions essay is how you’ll be formally introducing yourself to every college you apply to. To ensure it’s free of any errors and accurately represents you as a student and member of the community, ask one of your teachers to proofread it before attaching it to your application.


November 1 is the early admission deadline for many colleges. If you plan on applying by that date, make sure everything is completed and sent to the colleges of your choice. Be sure to follow ASU Prep Digital on Instagram and Facebook to get even more college admission tips.

6 Education Podcasts You Should Listen to Right Now

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In today’s media landscape, thousands of podcasts run the gamut in topic, length, and format covering niches you never even knew existed. This is great news for podcast fans, but can be overwhelming for anyone (like us) who thinks there’s such a thing as too many options. For educators or parents interested in learning more about education, college admissions, teaching methods, or anything in the field of education, the sheer number of podcasts available can be a bit daunting. To make the choice easier for you, we’ve rounded up some of our own favorite education podcasts. Here are six education podcasts we think are binge-worthy this month.


Thought Huddle Podcast

Thought Huddle

We would be remiss not to kick things off with ASU’s own Thought Huddle podcast. We may be a bit biased, but the latest podcast produced by ASU is one fun way to learn about our world’s fascinating past, present, and future. Thought Huddle covers everything from Alexander Hamilton’s communication skills to how scientists monitor what goes down your sewer drain. Host Mary-Charles Domandi explores ideas and helps make sense of our complicated and beautiful world by highlighting thinkers and doers who are making an impact. Educators will love Thought Huddle because it covers a broad range of topics, but each episode dives deeply into its topic with the help of academics and subject matter experts.

EDUTalk Podcast


EduTalk is a grassroots podcast that gathers insights on academia from educators and students from around the globe. The Scottish-based show is hosted and organized by teachers David Noble and John Johnston and covers education topics such as school inclusion and technology use in primary education. In fact, ASU Prep Digital’s own Julie Young and Amy McGrath were each featured on recent episodes to discuss online education and edtech.

House of EdTech

House of EdTech

If you’ve spent any time on this blog, there’s a good chance you have at least a general interest in online education and edtech. House of Edtech is the show for you if you’re looking for more information on how technology is being integrated into the classroom – and far beyond it! Hosted by K-12 educator Christopher J. Nesi, the podcast invites digitally literate teachers to share their personal stories and tips on how technology has changed the way they teach and brought their classrooms to the next level. The show also features reviews of edtech tools and resources, so you can stay up to date on the latest industry trends.

Getting In

Getting In: A College Coach Conversation

Parents and teachers of high school upperclassman will find a lot of value in this podcast, which offers factual and practical college prep advice from a variety of former admissions and financial aid officers who know what it takes to “get in.” The show covers everything students, parents and teachers need to know as they leap into the admissions process, including how to write an effective application essay, how to create a college payment plan, how universities evaluate applications, how to maximize your high school classes and extracurriculars, and many more tips to help your student get into the school of their dreams.

Visions of Education

Visions of Education

High school educators looking for something far-reaching yet personal will enjoy Visions of Education, in which education professor Dan Krutka and high school teacher Michael Milton host candid and intimate conversations with teachers, administrators, and education academics covering a variety of ideas for the industry. Their talks dive into rich and complex topics such as the use of a critical lens in teaching history, how to build an open classroom environment, and the new standards for teaching America’s history with slavery.

Harvard EdCast

The Harvard EdCast

Looking for a quick dose of current events from the world of education? Then the Harvard EdCast is for you! This poignant weekly podcast features 15-20 minute conversations with education thought leaders from around the world. The discourse covers current events, important issues, and opinions from within the education community. Host Matt Weber casts a wide net with the topics covered, giving you some vastly new ideas to chew on with each passing week.

September Events at ASU You Need to Know About

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A Few Highlights From the ASU Septemeber Events Calendar

As the new semester kicks into high gear, so do a wide range of exciting activities organized by ASU. Whether you’re a college student, enrolled concurrently with ASU Prep Digital, or a high school student exploring college options, there’s always something on the events calendar to keep your interest piqued. Here are a few great events to consider from the ASU September Events Calendar:


Beyond Beyond

When: September 4-29

This on-campus exhibition features riotous collages by artist Ai Kijima. Kijima’s collages use meticulously pieced and fused textiles to colorfully reflect on the history, preoccupations, and social politics of the U.S. and Kijima’s home in Japan. This is a must-see for anyone with an interest in contemporary art. Best yet, the exhibition is free to the public.


Digital Humanities Coffee Hour

When: September 6, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

This monthly meeting will be of particular interest to ASU Prep Digital students, as it invites students to discourse with leading scholars about the role of Digital Humanities in the modern world. The inaugural Coffee Hour of the semester will feature a conversation with Elizabeth Grumbach about the inherent collaborative and inclusive nature of Digital Humanities. 


Career Days: ‘21 Jobs of The Future’

When: September 12, 10-10:50 a.m.

Looking to land that dream job? If so, then you’ll want to grab a front seat at this unique career days event, which could even introduce you to careers that don’t yet exist! Even as automation grows and we careen towards a “jobless future,” Rob Brown of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work believes that 21 new job types will emerge in the next 10 years and will become cornerstones of the working world. Don’t miss out if you want to learn more about our own version of The Jetsons era. This event is free for ASU students and alumni. Community members can register to attend for $50.


Fall Service Plunge

When: September 15

Education is as much about what you contribute as it is about what you receive. With that in mind, ASU’s Service Plunge is a great way to kick off the school year by giving back and getting plugged into the community. This all-day event offers an ideal setting to meet other service-minded students.


Walls of Sound: The Ecology of The Borderlands

When: September 16, 2:30-4 p.m.

This one’s a triple whammy. Lovers of music, science, and nature alike will get a kick out of this unique workshop. In it, Goldman Professor of Organ Kimberly Marshall and Fulbright Scholar Alexander Meszler create a sonic exploration of the border wall using the Fritts and Traeri organs. Consider our minds blown. Tickets are $22 for adults; $16 for faculty, staff and alumni; $15 for seniors; $12 for students.