12 February 2015

Suggested College Tour Itineraries

college tours mapPreparing your first college tour and not sure where to start?

Here are some suggestions for schools to visit, grouped by region, to get you rolling. Each list includes 5-6 schools that offer a range of sizes, settings and selectivity to help imagine the possibilities.  We also suggest others worth considering and why.  

Cities currently covered include Boston, New York City, Syracuse, Washington DC, Chicago, Cleveland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  

Click on the Continue Reading link below to see our suggestions, or try our College Tour Planner to build your own custom campus tour itinerary.

 


Boston

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These popular Boston area schools represent a good mix of size, setting and admissions selectivity.  All are easily accessed via public transportation, and given their relative proximity you can squeeze in two campus visits a day if necessary.  

For a taste of smaller schools in more rural locations, consider driving to western Massachusetts to visit Amherst, Williams, Hampshire College, Smith or UMass Amherst.  If you're interested in engineering, check out Olin, UMass Lowell and WPI, and if you're interested in entrepreneurship visit Babson.  

 

New York

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Though we've contained the list to schools in NYC, it's easy to venture out into upstate NY, Connecticut, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania if you're game.  If you're interested in visiting Ivy League schools, both Yale and Princeton are within relatively easy reach by car, bus or train. Cornell is four hours away, but if you head up that way you can also visit Colgate and Hamilton to give you a taste of small, medium and large schools in rural settings.  

 

Syracuse

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The schools on this list offer a great mix of size, setting and selectivity. If environmental science and forestry are your thing, check out SUNY ESF, and if you have time to venture to Rochester, check out the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology.

 

Washington DC

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The schools on this list are medium to large schools in suburban and urban settings. Time permitting, consider also checking out William & Mary, Virginia Tech and Washington and Lee.  

 

Chicago

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These schools are all classic medium-large universities. For a smaller school experience, check out the Colleges that Change Lives in the area, such as Knox, Beloit, Wheaton, Wabash, Kalamazoo and Cornell College.  

Chicago campus visits itinerary
 

Cleveland

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These schools provide a broad mix of sizes and settings. Kenyon and Oberlin exude a small school, small town feel, Ohio state and Michigan a classic Big Ten college town feel, and Case Western and Carnegie Mellon a more urban feel.

 

San Francisco

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Most of the San Francisco Bay area schools tend to be larger in size, but offer great variety in terms of locale/setting. Three popular University of California campuses are within two hours: the more rural, bicycle-friendly Davis, the urban, progressive Berkeley, and the earthy-crunchy Santa Cruz.  

 

Los Angeles

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These popular Southern California schools offer a good mix of size, setting and selectivity. You'll need a car to see them all, but in certain situations it's still very possible to squeeze in two campus visits a day.  The Claremont Colleges—Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, Harvey Mudd and Scripps—are particularly interesting to visit because of their setup as a consortium with distinct campuses but shared classes.

If you're interested in STEM fields, be sure to check out Caltech and Harvey Mudd. If film or animation are your thing, check out Chapman University, Cal Arts and Loyola Marymount in addition to USC and UCLA.