Amazon Prime Video show features ASU campus for prospective students

"The College Tours" features TV personality Alex Boylan and is led by 18 students sharing their University experience

Lights, camera, “forks up!” ASU has been featured on an episode of “The College Tours,” an Amazon Prime Video series showcasing different universities across the U.S., in an effort to entice prospective students. 

The episode features a virtual tour of several ASU campuses and different programs at the University. The show is hosted by TV personality Alex Boylan and led by 18 students. 

The University “invested in this project knowing that many families and prospective students may be unable to visit campus this year as part of their college decision-making process,” said Matt Lopez, associate vice president of Enrollment Services in an email. 

ASU paid $70,000 to produce the show and release it on Amazon Prime Video and Roku. The production resulted in over 100 hours of raw footage, which can be used in future video projects.

READ MORE: ASU spent $70,000 on production for Amazon Prime Video show

Madeline Salvatierra, a junior studying business law, was featured in the episode to talk about her study abroad experience with Semester at Sea and ASU. Salvatierra’s manager at Changemaker Central, where she works, told her about the opportunity to apply to be in the episode.

Once Salvatierra got the confirmation she was going to be one of the student guides in the show, she got to write her own script with guidance from the producers. 

“They picked out the topics that they wanted to feature and gave me a few talking points ... like ASU’s response to COVID and our COVID testing process and my study abroad experience,” Salvatierra said. “In terms of actually telling the story, they kind of gave me free rein to tell it the way I wanted.”

On the day of filming in early November, Salvatierra traveled to the Downtown Phoenix campus from Tempe to film in the Beus Center for Law and Society in the law library. 

“I hope that prospective students will see beyond the obvious,” Salvatierra said. “One of ASU’s values is to be adaptable, and that whatever you face as a student, ASU will adapt to match the times and be able to help you thrive in whatever situation the world is facing.” 

In a virtual watch party on Thursday night, a panel consisting of Boylan and five of the students featured in the University’s episode answered prospective students’ questions. 

Boylan said the idea for the show came to him when his niece, who now is a Sun Devil, was looking at colleges during the pandemic. He emphasized that the episode presents students’ authentic experiences with the University. 

“You know, this wasn't a bunch of marketing speech that was put into the students. You can ask any of the people there. These are their stories, and this is how they truly feel about ASU,” Boylan said.

President Michael Crow, who made an appearance at the watch party, wanted to stress that “we're only here for one reason, we're here to help you to succeed.” 

Nancy Gonzales, provost pro tempore, said at the watch party she could not explain the ASU experience any better than the episode does. 

“I'm constantly trying to convey to people how amazing ASU is, and how we provide opportunities for every person to carve their own pathway to create something really unique while they're here and to succeed at the highest possible levels. It's really hard to say all of that in as convincing a way as this video did.” 

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