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10 Great College-Sponsored Campus Tours for Counselors

In order to help students from diverse backgrounds make the ultimate choice for their higher education journey(s), counselors require a nuanced understanding of universities. Attending campus tours, therefore, becomes an incredibly important part of a counselor’s job.


Out of these, college-sponsored campus tours are usually the better choice as they offer a tailored experience. They often include exclusive access to facilities, meetings with key personnel, and a firsthand look at the distinctive features that set each university apart.  With this level of depth, you will acquire the knowledge you need and can guide your students more effectively.


Here is a curated list of 10 college-sponsored campus tours for counselors that you can make the best of:

 

Program dates: May 5, 2024 – May 9, 2024

General Location: New York State


The Upstate New York Counselor Tour (UNYT) is a five-day program offering school counselors the opportunity to visit six prestigious colleges and universities in New York State. These include the RIT, University of Rochester, Ithaca College, Syracuse University, Union College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Participants will gain insights into academic programs, campus life, and student resources, while also engaging with admissions officers, faculty, and students. The tour covers meals, transportation, and accommodations — a Wi-Fi-enabled bus will take you in between campuses. You will only be responsible for your travel to and from the tour.

 

Program dates: Rolling

Location: Austin, Texas


The University of Texas offers counselors multiple formats to visit the university. You can attend one of the regularly scheduled guided campus tours by contacting the admissions welcome center to book your slot. There is an option to bring 10-15 high school students and conduct a group tour as well. If you’d like to explore the campus on your own time, you can consider the self-guided tour, for which the university provides a printable map and guide. For those who cannot physically make it to the college, there is also a virtual tour option.

 

Program dates: Rolling

Location: Boston and Oakland


Northeastern University offers school counselors, college counselors, and CBO counselors the opportunity to visit its Boston and Oakland campuses. Tours are available each month and all you have to do is go through the website’s calendar and pick the date that suits you best. The tour will include a general information session led by the admissions staff followed by the tour which will be conducted by a current student ambassador. The information session will run for a half hour while the tour will go on for an hour, during which you will hear about the student’s personal experiences on campus. The Boston campus also offers college-specific information sessions as an add-on, such as the College of Engineering or the College of Science.

 

Program dates: Rolling, visits should be booked two weeks in advance

Location: Bloomington, Indiana


IU Bloomington not only invites counselors like you to visit the campus but also offers to customize the visit to your specific needs. The tour includes discussions with admission counselors, exploring the schools and departments, and access to helpful resources. You can schedule visits by contacting the email address given on the website, preferably two weeks in advance. If you’d like to bring your students along, book a tour through the group visits option.

 

Program dates: April 15, 2024 – April 18, 2024 for C.O.W.S Tour and April 24, 2024 – April 26, 2024 for the Marquette-specific program

Fee: $300 for the C.O.W.S Tour, no payment required for the Marquette-specific program

Location: Milwaukee, WI


Marquette University offers two counselor fly-in programs. The C.O.W.S. Tour involves a 4-day visit to Marquette University, Beloit College, Ripon College, and Lawrence University. Aside from a non-refundable deposit of $300, the program will cover all other costs of airfare, transportation, accommodations, and meals. The catch is that this is an invite-only program, with 30 seats that usually fill quickly.

The second program focuses specifically on Marquette, lasting a day and a half. This program prioritizes counselors from WA, AZ, and CO. Interested counselors can express their interest in either program by submitting the form on the website.

 

Program dates: Every day from Monday to Friday, at 10.00 pm and 1 pm

Location: Los Angeles, CA


You can choose to take the tour virtually or in-person, with options available for bringing a group of high school students and choosing between a guided or self-guided tour. The in-person tours are conducted every week, Monday to Friday, and all you need to do is register your visit. You will explore the university through a 30-minute information session presented by an admissions counselor followed by a 90-minute walking tour of the campus and its facilities. Select dates also include a student panel

 

Application deadline: February 15, 2024

Program dates: June 24, 2024 – June 28, 2024 (the 2025 program will take place in early July, specific dates TBA)

General Location: New York City


Organized by Montclair State University, this program is only for international school counselors, independent international counselors, and EducationUSA advisors/REACS. The program offers a week-long exploration of seven leading institutions in and around New York City — Fordham University, Pace University, St. John's University, Fairfield University, NJIT, Montclair State University, and Hofstra University. The tour is free of charge, with participants responsible for their transportation to and from New York City and additional personal expenses. However, there are only 25 spots, making it a fairly exclusive program.

 

Program dates: November (tentative, based on previous years)  

General Location: Boston


The Colleges of the Fenway comprises five Boston-based institutions in the Fenway area — Emmanuel College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Simmons University, and Wentworth Institute Of Technology. The association offers two opportunities every fall for high school and independent counselors to explore their programs and campuses. The program is entirely free and includes in-person panels and Q&A sessions with admissions counselors, in addition to the campus tours. However, this is a one-day program, so if you’re looking for a more detailed tour then consider one of the more extensive options on this list. For those who can’t travel, there is a virtual option as well.  

 

Registration deadline: Registration for the Fall 2024 program will open sometime in May

Program dates: October (tentative, based on previous years)  

General Location: Western Massachusetts


This program is organized by another association of colleges, a non-profit known as the Five College Consortium in Western Massachusetts. It brings together 55 counselors nationwide, where they explore the campuses of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The program includes student-led tours, faculty panels, and presentations by admissions directors. Attendees learn about the benefits of enrolling in one campus and accessing resources from all five institutions. The tour starts on a Sunday evening and ends the following Tuesday afternoon, covering most meals and all accommodation costs.

 

Program dates: April 24, 2024 – April 27, 2024 for the central region tour

Fee: $80 registration fee for shared rooms, $330 for private rooms

General Location: Virginia


The CICV is a non-profit organization representing 27 colleges and universities in Virginia. The Counselor Tour divides these into three regions (Northern/eastern, central, and western) and offers a program for each. As a participant, you would visit multiple campuses, spending about 3 hours at each college. You will also engage with faculty, administrators, and admission directors. Registration for the central region tour is open and includes institutions such as Bridgewater College, Sweet Briar College, Liberty University, and more. Each tour can accommodate up to 50 counselors and they are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis. 



If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at contact@lumiere.education to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: University of Texas at Austin's logo

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