All college applicants should visit a college campus before applying and certainly before accepting an admissions offer. However, visiting all the colleges on your list or visiting colleges that are all the way, or even half way, across the country can be expensive. If you cannot afford to visit a campus, there are other ways to explore a college’s potential, online for instance. Still being there and sensing the atmosphere, talking to students and faculty, and seeing the dorms as well as the surrounds of the campus are important factors to determine the appropriate fit. College is expensive. You should always take all the opportunities to gauge what is the best college choice for you.
With that in mind, here are some colleges that offer both full travel expenses or help with those expenses. These programs are competitive, and they have application deadlines. Each listing is for the year 2016.
Full Expenses Programs:
*Amherst College – Amherst, Massachusetts
Diversity Open Houses is for roundtrip travel by bus, plane, or train for under-represented applicants, first generation college students, and financially limited applicants. A free application waiver is also part of the package. The visitation times are September 24 – 26 and October 15 – 17.
Application deadline: August 15
*Bucknell University – Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Journey to Bucknell is a program for high achievers who have taken either the ACT, PSAT, or SAT and have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.3. All meals on campus are included with travel. Visitation time is November 6 – 8.
Application Deadline: Early October
*College of the Atlantic – Bar Harbor, Maine
The Fall Fly-In program provides travel, food, and housing for prospective COA Presidential Scholars. Visitation times are September 29 to October 2.
Application deadline: July 18
*Harvey Mudd College – Claremont, California
Future Achievers in Science and Technology (FAST) Program offers lodging, meals, travel, and application fee waiver to under-represented students in a STEM program. The program dates are September 29 – October 1 and November 10 – 12.
Application Deadline: August 22
*Union College – Schenectady, New York
Getting to Know Union Weekend is held October 9 – 10 and November 10 -11. All transportation and meals are provided to high achieving students from diverse backgrounds.
Application Deadline: September for October program and October for November program
Partial Expenses Programs:
*Haverford College – Haverford, Pennsylvania
The Multicultural Scholars Experience provides needs-based travel scholarships to prospective applicants of diverse backgrounds. The program dates are October 23 – 25.
Application Deadline: check in late summer
*Hope College – Holland, Michigan
The Fly-In Weekend is open to all for 50% of airfare along with transportation to and from the airport, lodging, food, and activities. The visitation dates are November 10 – 12.
Application Deadline: August 1
*Tufts University – Medford, Massachusetts
Voices of Tufts Diversity Experiences offers travel assistance to two programs, the engineering program October 20 – 21 and the arts and science experience October 27 – 28.
Application Deadline: October 6
*Pomona College – Claremont, California
The Fall Weekend Program provides grants to help pay for visits during two weekend dates, September 17 – 20 and October 8 – 11 for applicants with diverse backgrounds who are under-represented on college campuses.
Application Deadlines: August 14 for the September weekend and September 5 for the October weekend
When at college fairs or when thinking of applying to a university or college, ask if they provide any help with travel expenses to visit the campus. You might be surprised. There are many more colleges providing this assistance.