10 Cozy College Towns In New England That Feel Like A Storybook Setting

These top 10 college towns in New England are the perfect setting for a cozy getaway.

  • New England college towns offer picturesque beauty and vibrant campuses, making them perfect destinations for travelers seeking a storybook setting.
  • These cozy college towns are ideal for both outdoor activities and exploring downtown shops, cafes, and cultural attractions.
  • The fall and winter seasons add a magical touch to these New England destinations, making them even more enticing for a holiday getaway.

New England is, without a doubt, one of the most picturesque and stunningly beautiful locations in the entire United States. But New England is also well-known for its prestigious Ivy League universities, which provide a wide variety of historical sites, stunning architecture, and plenty of cool, vibrant college towns !

These college towns in New England are a must-visit all year round. However, the fall and winter seasons add a magical quality to these New England towns, making travelers feel as though they've been transported into a real storybook setting.

Whether road-trippers are looking for adventurous, outdoor activities or cozy cafés and downtown settings to celebrate this winter season, these top 10 cozy college towns in New England are the perfect solution for visitors' holiday needs.

Related: 10 New England Cities To Visit This Fall That Actually Feel Like Small Towns

10 Hanover, New Hampshire

The stunning college town of Hanover, New Hampshire, is home to the Ivy League school, Dartmouth College , and is also considered one of the most beautiful places to live in New England . Hanover sits on the Connecticut River which allows guests access to the gorgeous, natural wildlife that New Hampshire has to offer.

Hiking a part of the Appalachian Trail in Hanover is a great way to see the fall foliage or snowy landscapes. Visitors should also take a stroll around Dartmouth's campus and explore the Hood Museum of Art . Visitors can warm up with a coffee or hot chocolate in downtown Hanover and check out the local shops, antique bookstores, and cozy bakeries.

  • Campus address: Hanover, NH 03755
  • Best time to visit: October-December
  • Things to do: Hopkins Center for the Arts, Baker-Berry Library, Lou's Restaurant & Bakery

9 Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont, is all things cozy, eclectic, and colorful! While The University of Vermont is a big to-do here, Burlington itself has so much culture and cheerful energy that's bound to put any visitor in a cozy holiday mood.

Downtown Burlington is always action-packed and boasting of its arts and culture vibes, energetic breweries, and farm-to-table restaurants. While there are so many incredible things to do in Burlington , the coziest experience that guests will find is at the Church Street Marketplace . From unique shops to galleries to over 30 different restaurants, there's no shortage of sites to see on this beautiful street.

  • Campus address: 146 University Pl, Burlington, VT, 05405
  • Best time to visit: September-November
  • Things to do: Church Street Marketplace, Foam Brewers, Switchback Brewing Co., Waterfront Park

Burlington launched its first annual Vermont Brewers Festival this year and plans to keep celebrating every year in July!

8 Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island's capital city, Providence, is notably one of the most picturesque and quaint college towns in New England. Private Ive League school, Brown University , is one of 8 different college campuses in Providence. Taking a tour through Brown University's campus and classical Greek architecture immediately transports guests into another world and is a quintessential activity while visiting Providence, especially during the fall and winter.

There is a little something for everyone here in Providence, Rhode Island! Art enthusiasts can visit the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art and Providence Performing Arts Center downtown for a great night out on the town. Those who wish to see Providence's long-lasting history can visit College Hill. There are so many historic buildings all in one space that make for the perfect sightseeing tour.

  • Campus address: Providence, RI 02912
  • Things to do: Rhode Island State House, Federal Hill, Providence Athenæum, Roger Williams Park

7 New Haven, Connecticut

Home of the famous Ivy League college Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut, is an exciting college town that has no shortage of adventurous and cozy activities.

Yale University is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the U.S., and it's definitely worth exploring. Those who have watched Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) will feel like Rory Gilmore walking through the campus grounds and getting a cup of coffee at a nearby café. The Yale Bookstore and a majority of the academic buildings are open to the public and make for a cozy afternoon in New Haven.

New Haven is the perfect destination for those looking for classic New England charm and rich history.

  • Campus address: 165 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511
  • Best time to visit: October-November
  • Things to do: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, East Rock Park, Shubert Theatre

Related: Visit These 10 Snow-Covered Small Towns In New York For A Perfect Winter Vacation

6 Middlebury, Vermont

Travelers who are looking for outdoor trails, winter activities, and lush foliage around every corner, Middlebury, Vermont, is the best road trip destination. Middlebury College , home to the oldest environmental studies program in the U.S., is a prestigious school that was founded in 1800. Besides the beautiful college campus, Middlebury is surrounded by multiple bike paths, hiking trails, and nearby ski slopes that will have guests racing to the restaurants to refuel!

Visitors can hike through the Green Mountain National Forest , check out the waterfront at Oakledge Park , and even rent bikes at Frog Hollow Bikes for a fun biking adventure. Afterward, guests can wind down at an old-timey tavern or pub in downtown Middlebury for delicious food and drinks.

  • Campus address: 14 Old Chapel Rd, Middlebury, VT 05753
  • Things to do: Appalachian Gap Distillery, Middlebury College Museum of Art, Fire & Ice Steakhouse

5 Stamford, Connecticut

Another popular college town that's perfect for a cozy winter road trip is Stamford Connecticut, home of the University of Connecticut. Stamford has the perfect blend of outdoor scenery and energetic downtown life.

To see the best of the Stamford countryside, travelers can spend a day at Cummings Park or Mianus River Park and explore the woods and rivers. Looking for a night out? Downtown Stamford offers over 80 restaurants, theaters, and shopping centers , so guests can experience a little bit of everything!

  • Campus address: Storrs, CT 06269
  • Best time to visit: June and October
  • Things to do: Cove Island, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Fort Stamford, Half Full Brewery

4 Brunswick, Maine

Brunswick, Maine, is the ultimate cozy college town. Bowdoin College is Brunswick's main center and has so much history, diverse culture, and cozy activities to offer to visitors.

There's no better way to start the day than with a cup of coffee and a bagel from Dog Bar Jim in the town center before heading off to the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum or the Bowdoin College Museum of Art . Starting in November, visitors can bundle up and visit the Brunswick Winter Market every Saturday for fresh produce and baked goods.

  • Campus address: 255 Maine St, Brunswick, ME 04011
  • Best time to visit: June-August and September-November
  • Things to do: Flight Deck Brewing, Bowdoin College tour, The Gelato Fiasco, Harriet Beecher Stowe House

3 Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts, home to one of the most well-known Ivy League colleges in the world, is an alluring and homey college town, not to be confused with Cambridge in the United Kingdom . While Harvard University is the main attraction, Cambridge offers so much more for visitors.

Taking a stroll through Harvard Square, especially during the holidays, is a great way to get a glimpse of the spectacular architecture in Cambridge and feel the academic influence of Harvard. Visitors can take part in holiday events like Oktoberfest and the Illuminated Block Party. There is also a wide variety of restaurants and bars to choose from!

  • Campus address: Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138
  • Best time to visit: June-October
  • Things to do: Harvard Square, MIT Museum, Sanders Theatre, Tatte Bakery & Café

Related: 9 Things To Do In Cambridge: Complete Guide To The Cultural Heart Of Massachusetts

2 Plymouth, New Hampshire

Located in the White Mountains Region, Plymouth, New Hampshire, is an incredibly picturesque college town that's steeped in history, impressive fall foliage, and a diverse cultural center. Plymouth State University is located here and has vastly contributed to Plymouth's downtown atmosphere!

Plymouth has incredible outdoor activities for guests all year round. Places like Polar Caves Park and Tenney Mountain are the perfect day trip for the whole family. In downtown Plymouth, visitors can enjoy shopping and dining and walking along the vibrant and colorful streets!

  • Campus address: 17 High St, Plymouth, NH 03264
  • Things to do: The Flying Monkey, Plymouth Town Hall, Polar Caves Park

1 Amherst, Massachusetts

Voted as the "best college town in New England," Amherst, Massachusetts' natural history and accessible wildlife is truly the coziest road trip, especially during the fall and winter.

Locals and visitors can bike from Amherst to Northampton via the Norwottuck Rail Trail and hike dozens of trails in Mount Holyoke Range State Park. For fantastic views of the historic Amherst, guests can wander downtown and take a tour of Amherst College. Downtown Amherst is also well-known for its cultural arts displays and diverse array of restaurants, which add to the overall experience of the charming college town!

  • Campus address: Amherst, MA 01002
  • Best time to visit: June-September
  • Things to do: Mount Holyoke Range State Park, Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst Farmers' Market, The Works Café

usf joliet il site logo

USF Featured in The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges 2024 Edition

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review .

The education services company features USF in its website resource, The Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges: 2024 Edition, released in late October 2023. The guide is accessible for free at www.princetonreview.com/green-guide .

The Princeton Review chose the schools in the guide based on its survey of administrators at 680 colleges during the 2022-23 academic year and surveys of students attending the colleges. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points to select the 522 schools chosen for the guide.

USF has completed several sustainability-focused projects over the past several years, including the creation of a pollinator garden, maintenance of on-campus beehives, study and restoration of the Charlotte Codo Prairie in Frankfort, composting, and the creation of community garden.

The university’s sustainability efforts are tied to the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, who is remembered for his love of the environment and all living things.

“We believe that our patron Saint Francis of Assisi is the example par excellence challenging us to of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically (adapted from Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ Paragraph 10),” added Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF, USF Vice President of Mission Integration.

“We strongly recommend the University of St. Francis to the increasing number of students who care about the environment and want their ‘best-fit’ college to also ideally be a green one,” said Rob Franek, The Princeton Review’s Editor-in-Chief. “USF demonstrates an exemplary commitment to sustainability and to green practices—and it offers excellent academic programs.”

USF was also recognized by The Princeton Review’s Best in the Midwest section of its “2023 Best Colleges: Region by Region” website. The honor marks the fifteenth consecutive year USF has been named to this national listing.

About The Princeton Review

The Princeton Review, is a leading tutoring, test prep, and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college and graduate school–bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in-person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. The company’s Tutor.com brand is one of the largest online tutoring services in the U.S. It comprises a community of thousands of tutors who have delivered more than 21 million one-to-one tutoring sessions. The Princeton Review is headquartered in New York, NY. The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University. For more information, visit PrincetonReview.com and the company’s Media Center.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 53,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu .

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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All the Best Photos of King Charles and Queen Camilla's Trip to Kenya

The King and Queen are undertaking a four-day State Visit to the Commonwealth country.

Headshot of Emily Burack

This is Charles's first visit to a Commonwealth country as monarch (his and Camilla's two state visits thus far have been to Germany and France), and comes as Kenya celebrates 60 years of independence from British colonial rule. Kenya, too, was where Queen Elizabeth II's reign began— she acceded to the throne while at Sagana Lodge with Prince Philip .

Here, see all the best photos of Charles and Camilla's trip to Kenya—we'll be updating this story daily, so be sure to check back for more snaps of their state visit:

Day 1: October 31, 2023

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

Their first day in Kenya began with an official Ceremonial Welcome at State House in Nairobi, where Charles and Camilla were greeted by Kenya's President, Dr. William Ruto, and First Lady, Rachel Ruto.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

King Charles walks past the the Guard of Honour.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

On his jacket lapel, Charles wears Remembrance Day poppy .

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

King Charles and President Ruto sit together on the dais during the welcome.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

Queen Camilla signs a guest book as Kenya's First Lady looks on.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

King Charles takes in the scene.

kenya britain royals diplomacy

After, Charles planted a tree as President Ruto looked on. (In the background, you can also see Camilla planting a tree.)

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

He then watered it.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

Charles, always with a good sense of humor , laughed as he used the watering can.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

Camilla also seemed to enjoy the tree planting moment.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

Queen Camilla, King Charles, and the Rutos pose for a photograph in front of the Mugomo Tree in Uhuru Gardens.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

The tree was planted where the Union Jack was lowered and Kenya's flag was first raised upon the declaration of Kenyan independence in 1963.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

King Charles in front of the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, in Uhuru Gardens.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

He laid a wreath at a the tomb.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

After, they toured a new museum dedicated to Kenyan history.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

The King and Queen then went to Eastlands Library.

kenya britain royals diplomacy

Camilla wore the Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch , which originally belonged to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

Read more: A Guide to Queen Camilla's Brooches

topshot kenya britain royals diplomacy

A snap of Charles outside with his security team and members of the public.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

At the library, King Charles posed for pictures with young people that are taking part in a Prince’s Trust International Enterprise Challenge.

king charles iii and queen camilla visit kenya day 1

Meanwhile, Queen Camilla reads Lion and Mouse to students at the library.

Headshot of Emily Burack

Emily Burack (she/her) is the news writer for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royals, and a range of other subjects. Before joining T&C, she was the deputy managing editor at Hey Alma , a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram . 

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nairobi, kenya october 31 king charles iii gives a speech at the state banquet on october 31, 2023 in nairobi, kenya king charles iii and queen camilla are visiting kenya for four days at the invitation of kenyan president william ruto, to celebrate the relationship between the two countries the visit comes as kenya prepares to commemorate 60 years of independence photo by samir husseinwireimage

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Best colleges and majors for museum tour guides

Best colleges for museum tour guides.

A museum tour guide with advanced education typically earns a higher salary and has access to better jobs. That's why Zippia looked into the best colleges for museum tour guides. We based this list on several metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of graduates, the ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, the average cost of attendance, and median debt for graduates who go on to become museum tour guides.

Stanford University

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

Harvard University

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

University of Pennsylvania

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

Yale University

4. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

Cornell University

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

University of California - Los Angeles

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

Washington University in St Louis

7. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

University of Southern California

8. University of Southern California

University of Texas at Austin

9. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

Duke University

10. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

Museum Tour Guide education requirements

There are several educational requirements to become a museum tour guide. Museum tour guides usually study history, graphic design, or psychology. 72% of museum tour guides hold a bachelor's degree degree, and 72% hold an associate degree degree. We analyzed 146 real museum tour guide resumes to see exactly what museum tour guide education sections show.

The most common colleges for museum tour guides are the Virginia Wesleyan University and the Virginia Wesleyan University.

There are also many online museum tour guide courses to help get the education required to be a museum tour guide.

What education do you need to become a museum tour guide?

What degree do you need to be a museum tour guide.

The most common degree for museum tour guides is bachelor's degree, with 72% of museum tour guides earning that degree. The second and third most common degree levels are associate degree degree at 12% and associate degree degree at 9%.

  • Bachelor's , 72%
  • Associate , 12%
  • Master's , 9%
  • Diploma , 4%
  • Other Degrees , 3%

What should I major in to become a museum tour guide?

You should major in history to become a museum tour guide. Most museum tour guides, 21% to be exact, major in history. Other common majors for a museum tour guide include graphic design and psychology.

  • History , 21%
  • Graphic Design , 9%
  • Psychology , 9%
  • English , 6%
  • Other Majors , 55%

Most common colleges for museum tour guides

Here are the most common colleges for museum tour guides in the US based on their resumes. Museum tour guides often get their degrees at Virginia Wesleyan University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Kent State University.

Best majors for museum tour guides

20 best online courses for museum tour guides.

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Top 10 most affordable universities for museum tour guides

If the best universities for museum tour guides are out of your price range, check out these affordable schools. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, the average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price, and mean earnings after six years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for museum tour guides.

Hunter College of the City University of New York

1. Hunter College of the City University of New York

New York, NY • Private

Cost of Attendance

University of Florida

2. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

3. Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

Brooklyn, NY • Private

Brigham Young University

4. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

California State University - Long Beach

5. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

Queens College of the City University of New York

6. Queens College of the City University of New York

Queens, NY • Private

Florida International University

7. Florida International University

Miami, FL • Private

Florida State University

8. Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL • Private

USF St. Petersburg

9. USF St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, FL • Private

10. Lehman College of the City University of New York

Bronx, NY • Private

Top 10 hardest universities to get into for museum tour guides

Some great schools for museum tour guides are hard to get into, but they also set your career up for greater success. The list below shows the toughest universities to get into for museum tour guides based on an institution's admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted, and mean earnings of students six years after admission.

Admissions Rate

SAT Average

3. Yale University

4. university of pennsylvania, 5. washington university in st louis.

Northwestern University

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

7. Cornell University

Johns Hopkins University

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

New York University

10. New York University

Top 10 easy-to-apply-to universities for museum tour guides.

Some schools are much easier to get into. If you want to start your career as a museum tour guide without much hassle, check out the list of schools where you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores, and average salary of students 6 years after graduation to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into for museum tour guides.

Notre Dame de Namur University

1. Notre Dame de Namur University

Belmont, CA • Private

Mount Saint Mary's University

2. Mount Saint Mary's University

Wayland Baptist University

3. Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX • Private

Notre Dame College

4. Notre Dame College

Cleveland, OH • Private

University of the Incarnate Word

5. University of the Incarnate Word

San Antonio, TX • Private

Kean University

6. Kean University

Union, NJ • Private

Cardinal Stritch University

7. Cardinal Stritch University

Milwaukee, WI • Private

Clarke University

8. Clarke University

Dubuque, IA • Private

Centenary University

9. Centenary University

Hackettstown, NJ • Private

Curry College

10. Curry College

Milton, MA • Private

Average museum tour guide salary by education level

Museum tour guides with a Associate degree earn more than those without, at $36,795 annually. With a Bachelors degree, museum tour guides earn a median annual income of $35,932 compared to $31,898 for museum tour guides with an High School Diploma degree.

Museum Tour Guide Education FAQs

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2023 college football Week 10 odds, lines, trends: Legendary Vegas expert reveals picks, predictions

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The Week 10 college football schedule is highlighted by four Top 25 matchups. In the Big 12, No. 7 Texas will look to stay in the College Football Playoff hunt as the Longhorns host No. 25 Kansas State. The Week 10 college football odds via SportsLine consensus list Texas at -4. Two others come in a SEC on CBS doubleheader with No. 1 Georgia (-15.5) hosting No. 14 Missouri at 3:30 p.m. ET and No. 8 Alabama (-3) hosting LSU at 7:45 p.m. ET. No. 5 Washington will go on the road to take on No. 24 USC (+3.5) at 7:30 p.m. ET ( see more college football lines right here ). 

Before making any Week 10 college football bets on those games or others, be sure to see what legendary college football handicapper Bruce Marshall has to say. 

For years Vegas-based Marshall was synonymous with The Gold Sheet, the famed sports betting newsletter. With a background in play-by-play work and sports information while in college, Bruce joined TGS in 1981 when hired by the legendary Mort Olshan and served as executive editor for many years. Marshall now supplies his unique and colorful brand of football and basketball analysis to SportsLine members. 

An in-demand guest on numerous sports talk radio and TV shows across the country, Bruce's vast array of editorial work has been featured in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the New York Post and many other outlets. He has won various handicapping titles and also is working on several book projects.

Now he's studied the Week 10 college football schedule and used his Tech Corner technique to break down every matchup.

One thing we can tell you for Week 10: He's backing Arkansas (+6) to stay within the spread at Florida in a noon ET kickoff. He's also backing the Over 48.5 in that SEC matchup.

"The Razorbacks are on a debilitating six-game straight-up losing streak, but have covered three of last five," Marshall said. "The Razorbacks are 3-1 as underdogs this season and Sam Pittman is 15-8 as underdog with Arkansas since 2020. Gators have also gone Over in last four."

Marshall has evaluated every other matchup and he's found a stunning 18-4-2 spread trend that makes one pick a HUGE value on Saturday!  You ABSOLUTELY need to see who it is before making any college football picks. 

Who should you back in Week 10 of college football, and what 18-4-2 spread trend makes one pick a HUGE value? ... Join SportsLine now to find out, all from the legendary Vegas handicapper who has won multiple handicapping titles !


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Boston Dynamics turned its robot dog into a talking tour guide with ChatGPT

The company used chatgpt to train its four-legged bot to answer questions and generate responses about its facilities..

By Emma Roth , a news writer who covers the streaming wars, consumer tech, crypto, social media, and much more. Previously, she was a writer and editor at MUO.

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An image showing Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot with a top hat and googly eyes

We saw Spot run , jump , and even dance ... but now we can see Spot talk . In a somewhat unsettling video posted by Boston Dynamics, we see its robot dog outfitted with a top hat, mustache, and googly eyes as it chats with staff members in a British accent, taking them on a tour of the company’s facilities.

“Shall we commence our journey?” Spot asks. “The charging stations, where Spot robots rest and recharge, is our first point of interest. Follow me, gentlemen.” As shown in the demo, Spot is capable of answering questions and even opens its “mouth” to make it seem like it’s actually speaking.

To make Spot “talk,” Boston Dynamics used OpenAI’s ChatGPT API, along with some open-source large language models (LLM) to carefully train its responses. It then outfitted the bot with a speaker, added text-to-speech capabilities, and made its mouth — er... gripper — mimic speech “like the mouth of a puppet.”

Matt Klingensmith, the principal software engineer at Boston Dynamics, says the team gave Spot a “very brief script” for each of the rooms at its facilities. The bot then combined that script with the imagery it gets from the cameras on its gripper and body, allowing it to “get more information about what it sees before generating a response.” According to the company, Spot uses Visual Question Answering models to essentially caption images and answer questions about them.

“Generator hums low in a room devoid of joy. Much like my soul.”

The “fancy butler” is not the only persona Spot assumes during the video. The four-legged bot also takes on the personality of a 1920s archaeologist, a teenager, and a Shakespearean time traveler. It even assumes a sarcastic personality, which, when asked to come up with a haiku, said: “Generator hums low in a room devoid of joy. Much like my soul.”

Boston Dynamics says it uncovered a few surprises when experimenting with Spot as a tour guide. In one instance, the team asked Spot who its “parents” were, and it went over to where the older Spot models are displayed in the company’s office. The company also notes that it still ran into some instances where the LLM made things up, such as suggesting that Stretch, its robot designed to move boxes , was made for yoga.

“We’re excited to continue exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence and robotics,” Klingensmith writes in a post on Boston Dynamics’ site . “These models [LLMs] can help provide cultural context, general commonsense knowledge, and flexibility that could be useful for many robotics tasks — for example, being able to assign a task to a robot just by talking to it would help reduce the learning curve for using these systems.”

While Spot may sound and look pretty silly during the video, it’s still a bit hard not to think about the dog-like robot’s ability to open doors and spy on people . After all, it’s used as a tool for the police and military .

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Over the weekend, the Israeli military appears to have begun an invasion of the Gaza Strip, with tanks rolling into the enclave and Israeli soldiers fighting Hamas inside. But the operation remains shrouded in secrecy, and Israel is revealing little about its actions.

Raja Abdulrahim, a Middle East correspondent for The Times, and Patrick Kingsley, the Jerusalem bureau chief, discuss the latest escalation in the war.

On today’s episode

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Articles & Advice > Campus Visits > Articles

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How to Have a Great Virtual Campus Visit Experience

If you're overwhelmed by all the virtual college visit options, have no fear. Here's a comprehensive guide to having your best virtual tour experience.

by Kelli Dolan Senior Assistant Editor, CollegeXpress

Last Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Originally Posted: Feb 23, 2022

With the onset of COVID-19, high school and college students alike lost in-person access to valuable resources for their education. For high school students going through the college search and admission process, one of the biggest losses was their ability to go on campus visits. Campus visits and colleges tours are an important part of the college admission process because they’re the best way to determine if a college feels like a good fit for you.  

But colleges and universities weren’t about to let the pandemic stand in the way of showcasing what their schools have to offer for prospective students—enter the virtual college tour! While some colleges were already utilizing this valuable online tool, many more jumped on the opportunity when in-person visits were no longer a viable option. Though many schools have opened their doors to visitors once again, virtual campus tours remain a great way to stay safe and save money while exploring colleges. Take advantage and make the most of these valuable tools in your college search with this comprehensive guide.

Types of virtual college tours

When it comes to virtual college tours, there are three distinct approaches colleges take to showcase their campus and amenities. Some schools will utilize one of these options, while some will mix and match methods to give students a more wholistic look at life at their school. Here’s what to look for when exploring a college or university’s website.

Live virtual visits

Live virtual visits are your best bet to really get to know a college. With these events, you typically register online and tune in at a certain date and time—much like you would for an in-person tour. A representative of the college will take you (or a group of prospective students) on a walking tour of campus via livestream. This virtual touring method is beneficial because it gives you the ability to communicate with your tour guide and ask questions, either by directly speaking to them or through a text chat feature.

Self-guided virtual tours and maps

Most schools offer some sort of self-guided virtual tour and campus map either on their own website or through the popular virtual tour website YouVisit.com . These types of tours allow you to learn about and explore a school’s campus at your own pace through photos, program and location write-ups, videos, maps, and more. How extensive a virtual tour is will vary from school to school, but that alone can be a good indication of the value a college places on making sure prospective students have an accessible and comprehensive view of campus. 

Pre-recorded video series

The last type of virtual tour you’ll come across are pre-recorded video series. These often fulfill a similar role to livestream guided tours. Students or admission representatives will be recorded going on a tour of the college’s campus to talk about features of the college, discuss popular programs, and show off certain buildings and locations. These pre-recorded tours make it easier to explore and learn because you can pause and play the videos at your own pace, but the major downside is the lack of chat feature and direct interaction with the person guiding the tour.

Related: COVID–19 and Virtual Campus Tours

Other virtual events to sign up for

The great thing about the various types of virtual tours is that most colleges offer multiple ways to learn more. If a school offers a pre-recorded video tour and you have questions to ask, they’ll also likely offer an information session or “open house.” Or if a college does offer a live guided tour for a large group of registrants, a follow-up Q&A may be offered so you can get answers to questions you didn’t have time to ask during the livestream. Here are the types of virtual events you should be looking for to supplement your research.

Guided tours

As previously discussed, guided virtual tours are the best version of a virtual campus visit. These offer a look at the college as close as you can get to visiting in person and allows you to chat and interact with the person giving the tour. But these tours aren’t just offered at all times. Be sure to research early so you can sign up for the virtual tours of the schools you’re most interested in, then create a schedule to keep on top of them all. You’ll be expected to tune in on a certain day at a certain time, so come prepared to ask questions and engage in the process!

Information sessions

Information sessions are helpful if you’ve just been exploring recorded video series and self-guided tours or maps. They allow you to sit down at an assigned time and talk to representatives from a college to ask questions and connect with someone who could help you in the admission process if you decide to apply to that school. Pay attention to the details, though, because some schools will offer individual sessions, groups sessions, or both. If you have the option, choose whichever feels more comfortable for you.

Current student Q&As

Q&A events with current students are something you should sign up for regardless of what type of touring you’ve been doing. A college’s students are the best representation of a school’s character, social life, and academic environment. If students seem enthusiastic and excited to talk with you and discuss their school, then it’s more likely to be a place you’ll thrive and want to be. So don’t skip out on these. It’s where you’ll get honest answers to your most important questions!

Related: How to Overcome Anxiety and Talk to College Students on Campus Tours

Explore virtual tours at your own pace

The beauty of virtual campus visits is the ability to go at your own pace and explore a lot more colleges than you could feasibly schedule in-person visits for—both time and money wise! Keep your research on track with these tips.

Make a research schedule

It’s easy to get lost in all the different offerings for virtual campus exploring, especially if you have a lot of colleges you’re interested in. As you’re signing up for events and figuring out what type of virtual tours each school offers, create a research schedule for yourself. Mark down any guided tours, information sessions, or Q&As you’ve registered for that require you to attend on a certain day. From there, you can fill in other blocks of time to sit down and explore self-guided tour or video series options.

Take notes as you go

Regardless of what type of touring you’re doing, you should be taking notes! Virtual campus visits can throw a lot of information at you all at once, and it can get overwhelming. Taking notes will keep you focused on the things that are most important to you —be it academic programs, athletics, campus organizations, or anything else. These notes will also guide your decision-making later when you’re narrowing down your list and making your final college decision.

Compare your likes and dislikes of each college

Using the notes you’ve taken, make a pros and cons list for each college you toured, then compare them to the pros and cons of other colleges. This will give you a better idea of which colleges most comprehensively adhere to all your wants and needs. From there, you can narrow down your larger list of schools to just the ones you’ll apply to. (Most students tend to apply to anywhere from four to 10 colleges on average.)

Related: 7 Ways to Narrow Down Your List of College Choices

Reach out to admission to ask questions

Whether you’ve been going on guided virtual sessions, exploring maps and interactive tours, or missed the opportunity to sign up for information sessions, the admission office is always there to help you and answer questions. Why? Because they want to support you and hope their college is a great fit for you! Here are some common things you should connect with admissions about.

Ask about things you feel were missing

Colleges and universities are always looking for feedback on ways they can improve how they showcase their school to prospective students. If you felt like there was a lack of information in the research and touring you’ve done for a certain school, reach out to them to ask about it and suggest they include that information in their virtual offerings if you think it’s something other students will benefit from.

Ask for more information on specific programs

Some colleges have a lot of programs, so it’s impossible to cover them all with a virtual tour. In fact, a lot of schools will either skip over program-specific information and cover only general features and amenities of their schools or highlight just their most popular programs. If the major you’re interested in isn’t covered, do some further research on their website, then reach out to the admission office with additional questions or ask them which faculty you should contact from that program’s department.

Ask about connecting with students and alumni

If a school you’re interested in doesn’t offer virtual Q&As with students, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have designated students (and even alumni) who are willing to talk to prospective students. If you’d like an idea of what current student or postgrad career life is like for people who attend a certain school, email an admission officer and see if they can connect you with someone you can have a conversation with.

Set up in-person tours for colleges you’re most interested in

Obviously, the purpose of virtual campus tours is to make college visits more attainable and safe for a larger pool of prospective students—but they still can’t replace the experience of physically visiting a school. And since we’ve been living through the pandemic for a while now, a lot of colleges and universities have modified their in-person campus visit options to ensure the safety of staff and students. If it’s possible for you, try to set up safe in-person visits for only the colleges you’re most interested in. Your previous research should give you an idea of which colleges these are. Attend masked-up and see if the campus is really as impressive as it seems online!

Related: 7 Smart Things You Should Do on Your Next Campus Visit

The pandemic has taken a lot away from students, but it has also presented the opportunity to find alternative ways to access important resources. Take advantage of these new opportunities to explore your colleges of interest and make the college search process a little more fun and less stressful. At the end of the road will be an amazing school that will set you up for a bright future.

Ready to start exploring online to find the best-fit school for you? We’ve made it easy with our brand-new list of CollegeXpress Featured Colleges With Virtual Tours !

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50 Questions to Ask on a College Visit

Prospective students on campus visits should ask questions to understand a particular college's experience, experts say.

2019 Newcastle-upon-Tyne University Open Day, Tyne and Wear, England, UK. There are students with their parents on the public grounds of the University campus.

Prospective students can ask about housing on and off campus. (Getty Images)

A college visit offers prospective students a chance to look past the carefully curated images in marketing brochures and on social media, and get to know a school for themselves. Asking thoughtful questions of campus tour guides can help students better understand a college .

"It is incredibly important that prospective students connect with current students when they are touring universities," Roger J. Thompson, vice president for student services and enrollment management at the University of Oregon , wrote in an email. "Learning about the sense of community, student support services, sense of belonging, value, and what makes a university unique can be really helpful in finding their home."

To help prospective students better understand what to ask on a college visit, U.S. News crowdsourced questions from admissions professionals. In addition to Thompson, the questions below were provided by Monica Inzer, vice president for enrollment management at Hamilton College in New York; Eric Nichols, vice president for enrollment management at Loyola University Maryland ; Heath Einstein, dean of admission at Texas Christian University ; and admissions consultants Christopher Rim, founder and CEO of Command Education, and Krista Grubb, a principal college admissions counselor at IvyWise.

Some questions have been edited for length or clarity.

In addition to asking these questions of college tour guides and campus officials, Inzer encourages students to wander off the tour route to observe campus broadly.

"You can learn a lot by trying to blend in and experience the place on your own, if you are comfortable doing so," Inzer wrote in an email. "It may not be scientific, but a lot about this process isn't, and in the end you may need to trust your gut feeling on the type of environment where you might thrive. That kind of answer is not always found in stats and ratios and rankings."

Questions About Admissions

  • Does demonstrated interest play a role in the admission process?
  • Are there any exceptions to your test-optional policy ?
  • Does legacy play a part in admissions and, if so, who is considered legacy?
  • Do admissions interviews, if offered, play a role in the process?
  • Are interviews conducted by alumni, students or admissions officers?
  • Are there any majors for which enrollment is capped?

Questions About Academics

  • Are classes taught by professors or teaching assistants?
  • What is the average class size?
  • How/when do incoming freshmen get course selection advising for their first-semester classes?
  • Who gets priority in the course registration process – is it by grade level, honors programs, etc.?
  • How many classes do students take a semester?
  • Are classes more theoretical or hands-on in nature?
  • How easy is it to switch majors or schools within the university?
  • What is the breakdown of requirements for most majors?
  • What percentage of students choose to study abroad ?

Questions About Academic Support

  • What tutoring services are available?
  • Are tutoring services free?
  • How often do students meet with academic advisers ?
  • How accessible are professors outside of the classroom?
  • What types of resources are available for students with disabilities?

Questions About Financial Aid

  • What percentage of students receive financial aid ?
  • Are merit scholarship estimates built into the school's net price calculator?
  • How much financial need does the college typically meet?
  • How much extra money should I budget for costs beyond room, board and tuition?
  • Do financial aid packages remain the same over time or are they adjusted to reflect tuition increases?
  • How do outside scholarships affect a financial aid package?
  • Do accepted students receive their financial aid award letter at the same time as their offer of admission or later?

Questions to Ask Tour Guides About Student Life

  • When you first came to the school, how did you get involved?
  • How did you meet your friends, and what do students do for fun?
  • Do many students attend varsity athletic games?
  • How does the school build community and foster cultural understanding ?
  • What are the hot-button issues on campus?
  • What are some of the school's main events or traditions?

Questions About Campus Housing and Community

  • Are students required to live on campus ?
  • What percentage of students live on campus?
  • How do students choose a residence hall and a roommate?
  • What do students say about living and dining on campus?
  • Do most students choose to live off campus after freshman year?
  • What do the campus and community feel like from a safety perspective ?
  • How would you describe the surrounding community and the relationship the college has with it?

Questions About Work and Research Opportunities

  • What types of research opportunities do students have access to outside of the classroom?
  • What type of career guidance is offered by this school?
  • Are internship or co-op opportunities available through the college?
  • What percentage of undergraduates have had an internship or research experience by the time they graduate?
  • Is it common for freshmen and sophomores to get research or internship opportunities?

Questions About Student Outcomes

  • What is the four-year graduation rate?
  • What are the requirements to graduate in four years?
  • What is the retention rate from freshman to sophomore year?
  • What is the average level of student loan debt upon graduation?
  • Are career advising services available to alumni or only to enrolled students?

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14 Tips for an Effective College Visit

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Frommer's Best Places to Go in 2024

The long saga of life on Earth frequently goes through rough spots in the narrative, but even in the story's darkest passages, bright spots always abound. The world is as wide as it ever was, and it’s still brimming with positive things worth discovering and celebrating. 

The human drive to venture to new places, meet people who live differently, and learn to understand them remains crucial to our collective future, perhaps now more than ever.

We travelers seem to know this deep down, because our drive to wander also seems stronger than ever. A recent survey by Allianz Partners found that 61% of people intended to take a vacation before the end of 2023—the highest level reported since 2010. 

Yet we’re not traveling with the same abandon. We're being more thoughtful. Just as our post-pandemic euphoria peaked, uneven economic times took hold, reflected in an October 2023 survey by Bankrate that found  77% of travelers were adjusting future plans due to higher costs. 

This year, Frommer's selections for the Best Places to Go combine our growing hunger for fresh discovery, balanced with a rising need for affordability and accessibility. Frommer’s authors, researchers, and staffers around the globe have selected destinations that shine in our time and are expecting rising fortunes in 2024. Whether it’s forging new inroads to previously isolated attractions, marking milestones in sustainability or cultural heritage, or basking in a previously denied spotlight, each destination on our Best Places to Go list could play a pivotal role in our shifting travel sensibilities in 2024. 

Even in unsettled times, we can and must find ways to build a more positive future. Our Best Places don’t just represent the best in the world—they show us how to make the best of our world. As long as we're still curious enough to travel, there's hope. Here, in no particular order, are the Best Places to Go in 2024 .

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Seville, Spain

You probably won’t visit Seville  in the peak of summer in 2024—it just gets too hot. But the warming environment is the reason why this Andalusian capital is transforming into a model for other tourist cities. Faced with the challenges of climate change and overtourism, Seville is forging an identity in ecological mitigation and has plans to be climate neutral by 2030.

The city's historic landmarks—the  Alcázar palace , the beautifully restored La Giralda tower , the timeless alleyways of Barrio de Santa Cruz —attract large numbers, prompting Seville to devise technological solutions to reduce the damage. They include eco-friendly trams and bike-sharing to smooth congestion, measures to improve crowd security and impacts, and efforts to expand accessibility. These programs, which also promote traditional building materials and the conversion of public buildings to energy sustainability, earned Seville the title of European Capital of Smart Tourism from the EU in 2023.

As ever, Seville will host a slate of colorful events throughout 2024.  Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions in March are the most famous in Spain. April’s Feria is an exuberant display of horsemanship and dressing up. November brings the Billie Jean King Cup international tennis finals. And the  Día de los Reyes on the 12th day of Christmas is a cavalcade of candy-tossing—a party that the environment-conscious authorities follow up with a thorough hosing-down of sticky streets. — Peter Barron

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Brisbane, Australia

Wrapped around the winding Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia’s third-largest city (with 2.5 million residents) has, until recently, been regarded as an uneventful town divided inconveniently by water. But suddenly,  Brisbane has learned how to conquer that natural obstacle and convert the river into a world-class asset, devising new ways to go over, under, and around the waterway—and show it off at new entertainment districts with dazzling views.

The high-rise Queen’s Wharf hotel-and-dining precinct, set to open in April 2024, includes a pedestrian bridge to  South Bank , the city’s vibrant and expanding cultural center. Introduced in late 2020, free KittyCat ferries (smaller and more fun than the commuter CityCats) zip to popular stops such as Howard Smith Wharves , a 2019 redevelopment featuring a sustainable art hotel known as  Crystalbrook Vincent , the sprawling  Felons  brewpub, and bustling restaurants under the landmark Story Bridge,  which also has its own adventure climbing experience .

The Cross River Rail project, due to finish in 2026 much to the delight of Queenslanders, will add train tunnels under the water, uniting the city’s cleft transit options by the time Brisbane hosts the 2032 Summer Olympic Games .

Called Meanjin in local Indigenous languages, Brisbane is already an easy jumping-off point for eco-tours on the world’s two largest sand islands— K’gari (formerly Fraser Island ) and Minjerribah (also known as North Stradbroke Island ). New daily nonstop flights from Vancouver on Air Canada and San Francisco on United Airlines make Brisbane a convenient base for heading to tropical North Queensland and the imperiled  Great Barrier Reef , too.

Brisbane’s reputation as a generic Aussie backwater is over. It belongs to the world now. — Jeanne Cooper

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Panama City, Panama

Panama City is finally getting some time in the spotlight. Since 2019, travelers have been able to access the long-overlooked city through expanded passenger terminals at  Tocumen International Airport and  Fuerte Amador cruise port; Copa Airlines’ no-extra-fee extended Panama Stopover program is also enticing flyers to explore the city on the way to other destinations.

The new ease of arrival and added capacity are spurring improvements in neighborhoods such as Casco Viejo (Old Quarter; sometimes promoted as Casco Antiguo ), a district of brick streets and rooftop bars that has become a a UNESCO World Heritage–inscribed setting for nightly DJ-soundtracked parties under starry skies. Only the second major hotel to open in Casco Viejo, the Hotel La Compañía is a luxe reimagining of three crumbling buildings constructed by waves of Jesuit, French, and American arrivals.

During daytime explorations, visitors bike the waterfront on the 3.7-mile (6-km) Amador Causeway , formed with rocks discarded during the construction of the Panama Canal and expanded in 2017 with a multimillion-dollar investment. The capital city that united the Northern and Southern hemispheres is about much more than impressive canals . It’s where a lively new international scene is being constructed out of historic places. — Rina Nehdar

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Kentucky

In May 2024, the Kentucky Derby turns 150 years old, a milestone that will be celebrated with heroic feats of day-drinking among Derby enthusiasts (and will hopefully give Derby officials cause to address the mysterious deaths of horses in 2023). In the same month, the PGA Championship returns to Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club , where in 2000 Tiger Woods managed one of the most dramatic championships of his career.

There is more to Kentucky, however, than high-profile springtime sporting events. The real reason to visit is Kentucky itself. The state's rolling green hills are dotted with historic bourbon distilleries, many of which were built in the late 1800s but sat vacant for decades after the devastating effects of the Prohibition era.

One by one, those distilleries have been refurbished and reopened, and the state launched the  Kentucky Bourbon Trail —which isn’t a trail, per se, but a network of distilleries. To accommodate a new influx of visitors, Kentucky's tourism infrastructure has taken major strides, opening the sexy Manchester Hotel in Lexington's Distillery District in 2023, with an upscale, $60 million Canopy by Hilton  property arriving in 2024 near Louisville's evolving Whiskey Row .

The distilleries are expanding their tourism appeal, too.  Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto recently added a new restaurant; Log Still Distillery in Gethsemane is on track to open new dining and lodging options in 2024; and the city of Versailles has secured grant money to develop a hotel for guests of Woodford Reserve Distillery nearby.

Kentucky is quickly shaping itself into the Napa Valley of the Heartland, but with bourbon. Go now, before those charming country back roads are clogged with tour buses. — Dan Renzi

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Dresden and Chemnitz, Germany

Chemnitz is preparing for its role as a 2025 European Capital of Culture , spiffing up old theaters and converting warehouses and even garages for events and exhibitions. The festivities top off the city’s transformation in the 35 years since German reunification that have seen Chemnitz go from a drab industrial backwater to a modern metropolis.

Even more impressive is the renaissance of near-neighbor Dresden . One of the most beautiful cities in Europe was quite literally blown off the map in Allied fire bombings near the end of World War II, then locked behind the Iron Curtain during years of communist rule. The city felt like one big construction site for many years, as palaces, churches, and other monuments were slowly rebuilt from the rubble.

Nowadays, though, much of the Old Town can be savored in its former 18th-century baroque glory. The bell-shaped cupola of the Frauenkirche  rises above the pleasure pavilions of the Zwinger palace , the Semperoper  opera house (where the work of Richard Strauss premiered), and the recently reopened Residenzschloss , a palace filled with treasures that include the glittering gems of the famous Green Vault .

Not that the capital of Saxony is just a time capsule—the hip 19th-century Neustadt (New Town), left mostly unscathed by the bombings, has the youthful energy of Berlin. Rivaling Dresden’s architectural wonders are the mountains and gorges of Saxon Switzerland National Park , a short boat ride away up the River Elbe.— Stephen Brewer

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Guanajuato, Mexico

San Miguel de Allende , rich with luxury hotels, vineyards, and magnificent temperate weather, is fabulous. But the crowds of North American tourists speaking English and drinking chardonnay can make that city feel like an outpost of Northern California.

Try Guanajuato , just a little over an hour’s drive away. Founded by the Spanish in the early 1700s and built with the vast wealth derived from the area's silver mines, Guanajuato is a gorgeous, elegant, living museum of Mexican culture. The winding, hilly streets are a treasure trove of baroque and neoclassical architecture mixed with candy-colored row houses, tree-filled parks and elegant plazas, and murals illustrating the city's role in the Mexican fight for independence.

Museums abound, including Museo Casa Diego Rivera , the former home of the famous Mexican muralist, and Museo de las Momias , a creepy (and disturbingly popular) collection of preserved human remains from a nearby graveyard. Guanajuato is already a top destination for Mexican nationals, especially in October during the Festival Internacional Cervantino , a visual and performing arts celebration that is one of the most important cultural events in Latin America.

Music and theater are part of daily life here, especially at night (thanks to that incredible weather), when you can join a  callejoneada. These evening tours through the city streets are led by university students known as estudiantinas , who wear period costumes as they perform music and tell funny stories, inviting spectators to sing and dance (and drink) along. — Dan Renzi

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: The Cook Islands

A longtime favorite holiday haunt of Kiwis and Aussies, the English-speaking Cook Islands, located about  midway between Hawaii and New Zealand, are still under the radar for most U.S. residents. On average, only about 8,000 Americans visit these Polynesian settlements each year.

But that may not be the case for long. Hawaiian Airlines , which hadn't offered a flight from Honolulu to Rarotonga for three decades,  revived service in May 2023. It's the only flight to the Cook Islands directly from the United States. Another enticement: The U.S. dollar goes a long way here, making expenses on the ground a lot lower than during visits to Tahiti or Hawaii.

The South Pacific archipelago is home to turquoise waters, volcanic mountains, and marine life including spotted eagle rays and humpback whales (July–Oct). As opposed to other tropical islands where monolithic resorts predominate, the vibe in the Cook Islands is one of boutique hospitality. Beaches are never crowded, traffic is nonexistent, there are no annoying tour coaches, and no buildings stand taller than a coconut tree. Think Hawaii, but 90 years ago. — Sarah Sekula

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Santa Fe, New Mexico

In 2024 New Mexico's enchanting capital city will ring in the 100th anniversary of the  Burning of Zozobra , a Labor Day tradition in which a 50-foot-tall dummy of a mythical figure stuffed with “glooms” (aka divorce documents, parking tickets, and other downers) gets cathartically burned to the ground.

As if to balance that scene of cleansing destruction, Santa Fe  abounds, as usual, with artistic creation, too. New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary  opened in September 2023. Meanwhile, modern Native American artistry is establishing new platforms across town: A new gallery show at the Indigenous Art Fair Contemporary launches in August 2024 with the aim of being the Art Basel of Native American art, while the first Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week  hits the runways in May.

In August 2023, the  Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado launched an 8-hour Tsi’pin Ruins Tour that pairs guests with a geologist and archaeologist to discuss artifacts and explore ancient Indigenous dwellings built around the year 1175. The hotel also leads yoga/hiking/meditation excursions to Plaza Blanca, an area so dreamy it was Georgia O’Keeffe’s go-to canyon  for inspiration. — Sarah Sekula

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

This unfairly overlooked natural wonder marks its 100th anniversary as a U.S. national monument in 2024. Chances are you’ve never seen it.

Home to spectacular geological formations some 15,000 years in the making, this rugged landscape  of sand dunes, lofty peaks, and lava fields has an otherworldly beauty that reminds even NASA of the moon. In fact,  Apollo 14 astronauts  trained here in 1969.

In the summers, rangers and astronomers host free Star Parties for observing the heavens in a spot that has “some of the darkest night skies of any national park unit,” according to the the National Park Service. In 2024, those evenings will be augmented by  special events  to celebrate the monument's centennial.

After 5 years of construction across cooled lava flows, the park’s North Crater Flow Trail will reopen  in spring as the site's first wheelchair-accessible trail. That much-needed improvement helps update a seemingly timeless site encompassing a 1,200-year-old tree and the ancient remains of eroded vents and cinder cones.

Boise , where you'll find the closest major airport, is   about a 2.5-hour drive away. Before or after your trip to Craters, make sure to check out some of the intriguing developments in Idaho's capital. The Avery Hotel & Brasserie , once a historic boxing venue and theater, recently opened after years of vacancy, and the 122-room Hotel Renegade , a new building with an eighth-floor restaurant that will have commanding views of the area, is slated to begin welcoming guests in the spring of 2024. — Sarah Sekula

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: The Scottish Islands

As soaring temperatures turn the Greek isles and other popular Mediterranean getaways into literal hot spots, Scotland ’s wildly scenic islands deliver a breath of fresh air, with summertime temperatures rarely climbing out of the 60s Fahrenheit (or upper teens Celsius). The Hebrides , off the west coast, are a haven for sea life, heaven for seafood lovers, and an unspoiled playground for hiking, biking, kayaking, and other outdoor pursuits. For the truly hearty, that includes swimming off the white sandy beaches of Barra and Harris . On Islay , meanwhile, the preferred pastime is drinking some of the world’s finest whiskies from the island’s nine distilleries .

To the north, the Orkneys are edged with dramatic sea stacks and the remarkable remains of villages where islanders farmed and fished 5,000 years ago. Even farther north, halfway between Scotland and Norway, the Shetlands are sprinkled with Viking settlements and brimming with bird life—as well as sheep, from which the islands’ famous wool is spun. This is also where sturdy little Shetland ponies roam wild.

All of these islands are just a ferry ride away from the mainland, but a world apart, with more than a hint of magic to each of them. — Stephen Brewer

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Glendale, Arizona

In Greta Gerwig’s boffo, bonkers Barbie movie, getting to Barbieland from our human realm requires traveling through six different stages of limbo via six different pink-hued vehicles. But by the end of 2024, you’ll have a less arduous way to enter the plastic icon’s world: Go to Glendale, Arizona. 

The Phoenix suburb is getting the globe’s first Mattel Adventure Park , a mostly indoor and therefore mercifully air-conditioned attraction devoted to the toy maker's intellectual property. Alongside two Hot Wheels roller coasters and family-friendly fun inspired by Uno and other beloved childhood relics, a “full-scale” Barbie Beach House will let visitors raid Barbie’s closet, dine at a rooftop restaurant, and commune with the “fashion doll” herself by hologram. 

The Mattel theme park will be part of the massive, 60-acre VAI Resort complex, also set to open in late 2024 near State Farm Stadium , where the NFL's Arizona Cardinals play. Billed as the largest hotel in Arizona , the VAI property will encompass 1,100 guest rooms, an outdoor concert venue, a “party island” with a manmade beach and “swimming oasis,” 12 restaurants, a 130-foot-high sky bar, and a tethered hot air balloon. 

All that’s missing is Ken’s Mojo Dojo Casa House . — Zac Thompson

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Nepal

Because of its remote, mountain-bound location and terrain, the Kingdom of Nepal has always been a somewhat challenging destination to visit for people with limited vacation time. Then, after a 2015 earthquake wiped out key parts of the country's  Langtang trekking region and the pandemic paralyzed travel, the bottom fell out of the Nepalese tourism industry.

The government knew it had to start taking more aggressive steps to bolster the nation's health as a destination without allowing crowds to overrun the charm of those world-famous vertiginous villages. So Nepal is embarking on a still-forming 10-year plan that aims to make the country's wonders easier to reach and safer for casual adventurers.

New Chinese-funded international airports, which are controversial locally, have opened at Siddharthanagar and Pokhara , and leaders are reaching out to vacationers across Asia to persuade them to book flights. On the safety front, trekkers on many important trails are now required, as of April 2023, to hike with a local guide —a boon for cultural exchange and local employment.

The main city of Kathmandu , where most tourists first touch down, is adding more things to do, including new tour bus service , a new Skywalk Tower attraction , and even LGBTQ-themed heritage tours and treks  for visitors who don't plan to go anywhere near Mount Everest. Perhaps wishfully, the government has set an aggressive goal of increasing tourist spending from $48 to $125 a day within a decade, which would improve employment figures and fund better infrastructure while still offering a bargain for most North American travelers.

Nepal’s rustic simplicity will never be suited to the pressures of a true tourism powerhouse. But if the country can build a more reliable travel industry, this Himalayan kingdom's recovery could shape up to be a reinvention.— Jason Cochran

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Prince Edward Island, Canada

In 2024, Prince Edward Island  is throwing a 150th birthday party for writer Lucy Maud Montgomery, whose beloved  Anne of Green Gables has been making readers dream of the island's red roads, green sloping fields, and shining waters ever since the novel was published in 1908.

In honor of the occasion, the Charlottetown Festival is bringing back a musical stage adaptation (previously recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s longest running annual musical theater production ). Among other planned events: In November, Green Gables Heritage Place will throw a birthday bash for Montgomery and debut a new documentary about the complicated author behind Anne and 19 other novels, nearly all of which were set on Prince Edward Island.

But no matter what time of year you visit Canada’s smallest province, you can make your own literary pilgrimage to the modest green-and-white house that inspired Montgomery, have a picnic next to a life-size bronze sculpture of the author and her cat in Montgomery Park , and simply soak up the island's bucolic serenity. — Joni Sweet

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Utqiagvik, Alaska

A trip to Utqiagvik ( uut-kee-AGG-vik ) comes with bragging rights. Located more than 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle and accessible only by plane, this remote village (population: 4,500), once known as Barrow, is the northernmost community in the United States—and one of the oldest inhabited ones, too. Thanks to the town's extreme location, if you visit between May 10 and August 2, you’ll experience 24 hours of daylight ; from mid-November to late January, on the other hand, there’s no sunshine at all. Show up from the middle of September through late April, and the Northern Lights, polar bears, and caribou are the main attractions.

Human history has touched this remote outpost, too. The Will Rogers-Wiley Post Monument  commemorates the 1935 airplane crash that killed humorist Rogers and aviator Post. The Birnirk National Historic Landmark   pays tribute to   one of the earliest examples of Indigenous culture in North America.

Mostly, though, Utqiagvik is notable for the immense wilderness that surrounds it. The gradual unfreezing of the Arctic adds a layer of urgency to the area’s wildlife-spotting opportunities. Animal residents include snowy owls in autumn and beluga whales in spring and fall. Keep an eye out for walruses on large ice floes.

Don’t leave without taking a photo of the Whale Bone Arch that faces the Chukchi Sea. As of November 2023, you can also shop for handcrafted mementoes at the brand-new  Utqiagvik Visitor Center .   And if you have an adventurous palate, be sure to try a bowl of reindeer soup from the Top of the World Hotel . No matter when you visit, pack warm clothes—climate change may be melting and softening surfaces here, but even in the summer, temps hover just above freezing.— Sarah Sekula

Frommer's Best Places to Go on Vacation in 2024: Maui, Hawaii

While it's wise to give Lahaina the space and time it needs to heal and rebuild from the August 2023 wildfires , the resorts of Maui remain open and eager for visitors. In fact, several properties had just completed major improvements when the fires hit other parts of the Valley Isle.

In South Maui, all 413 suites and 37 villas at the 22-acre Fairmont Kea Lani  were recently redesigned as part of a 3-year, $70 million renovation that will also add an interactive cultural center and restaurant (expected to be complete in December 2023). Likewise, the 40-acre Grand Wailea , one of the most famous luxury resorts on the island, is emerging from its most extensive renovation since the hotel's 1991 opening; the makeover involves new dining options, updates to the 776 guest rooms, and a full revamp of the 50,000-square-foot spa. On the west side, the  Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua launched the island’s newest luau and dinner show, Tales of the Kapa Moe , just a month before the fires.

But you don’t have to stay at a budget-busting luxury resort to help Maui (and, fair warning, you might spend more than usual at any hotel in the short term, given that rates have been driven up by labor shortages and emergency housing demands caused by the disaster). At MauiNuiStrong.info and GoHawaii.com's Malama Hawaii section, you can find ways to donate through hands-on efforts and contributions. Additionally, supporting local small businesses while you're on the island has a huge impact when it comes to offsetting financial losses from the fires; for a good list of local businesses to support, see MauiNuiFirst.com . The food, souvenirs, and experiences you'll find there are likely to be better than any corporate alternatives anyway. — Sarah Sekula

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Week 8 college football expert picks: Top 25 game predictions led by Ohio State-Penn State

best college tour guides

The Week 8 slate in college football features four Top 25 showdowns for our panel of experts to consider. The Saturday headliner features No. 3 Ohio State hosting No. 6 Penn State in a highly anticipated contest with Big Ten and national championship implications.

Three of the other major conferences feature key games as well. A share of the lead in the ACC is on the line as No. 4 Florida State hosts No. 17 Duke. Yes, Duke. In the Pac-12, No. 14 Utah visits No. 16 Southern California, a must win for both teams hoping to keep their slim College Football Playoff hopes alive. There's also the measure of the Trojans trying to get revenge for two losses to the Utes last season .

Speaking of revenge, there's a big one in the SEC as No. 8 Alabama hosts No. 15 Tennessee. The Crimson Tide lost one to the Volunteers in Knoxville. This season, both teams already have a lost, making this a College Football Playoff eliminator.

Our staff weighs in on those key clashes, while also looking for potential upsets among the rest of the Top 25.

College Cliffs

Navigating the Idea of College Visits and Tours

Find the best college.

Going through college tours or visiting colleges is one of the most attributed factors for choosing a college that best fits you. You learn about the school and the environment that you’ll be in for the next four years or so.

However, this may not be possible for all students, especially if you live far from the college. Furthermore, it would not be easy to have an on-campus visit due to the current pandemic situation. 

Featured Programs

As you choose your undergraduate school, check out the alternatives for college tours. They have taken care of productive approaches to understand and take a comprehensive look at their campus and systems. 

What are college visits or college tours?

There is more to a college tour than merely visiting the campus. College tours enable you to discover answers to your questions, concerns, and curiosity about your incoming college life. You also get an opportunity to meet other prospective students and meet new friends way before school starts.

Importantly, it gives you a head start to prepare for your higher education experience. You can further understand college on a deeper level, and in some cases, it even helps you come up with a decision on what major to take up.

You will have a clearer sense of direction for your college search as well as the application process.

College Visits - fact 2

With the advancement of technology, online resources are accessible in just a few clicks. Hence, students can easily acquire information about colleges through websites and online data.

Statista shows the frequency of high school students’ visits to college websites using their mobile devices, and it shows that 18% of the surveyed students visit college websites once a day. 

The University of California Los Angeles published a 2019 American Freshman Survey , which shows that 51.7% of the 97,000 respondents consider a campus visit a “significant” indicator when selecting their university. So please take advantage of joining a campus tour, whether it’s on-campus or online.

Different Types of College Tours

Doing your fair share of researching colleges and universities is not a bad idea. It will enhance your knowledge and understanding of what type of school you would want to belong to. As you gather more information, you also understand your preferences.

However, having an in-person visit seems to be the most favored option for many people because you can have an actual physical experience.

Here, we will discuss the three types of college tours that were common before the pandemic started.

1. Traditional Campus Tour

Campus visits typically entail planning and scheduling. You go on a group tour, which could mean as little as two families or as large as the tour guide can accommodate. Your activities will include visiting the building’s facilities and learning more about the campus highlights.

You will meet with counselors or even have an opportunity to shadow an actual class. If you have already started on your college search, this type of college tour will help you assess and evaluate if the school fits your needs. 

2. Open House 

This type of college tour includes a pool of visitors and prospective students gathering around, sharing the same purpose and intention as you. If you would instead opt for a one-on-one meeting, this might not be an excellent option for you to conduct your thorough college search.

However, if you don’t mind joining the crowd, attending an open house has its perks. Primarily, the best advantage is that a school holds an open place to share and distribute useful information to all future applicants. Different school departments and organizations participated together to make this event successful.

Thus, they have a very organized and systematic way of communicating and handling inquiries. During such an event, you will have a chance to speak to admissions office staff, financial aid advisers, members of organizations, department staff, and even current students. 

3. Overnight College Visits

This last kind of campus tour is the least common one. Although it is perceived as the most informative method, not many students choose this option. If you apply for an overnight college visit, you will have many tours of your own major’s buildings and facilities.

You will attend real-time classes by ongoing students and socialize with other prospective students like you. You will also spend the night in a residence hall so that you can take full advantage of the college experience.

In these times, you will better understand what you want about the college and eventually be able to decide whether the school is right for you or not.

All the universities and colleges do not offer this kind of campus visit, so you will have to inquire first about it. Moreover, this would be a better option if you have already narrowed your list of preferred colleges to attend.

Alternative Ways for College Tours in this Covid-19 Situation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many school systems and procedures have been altered, and the new normal has been implemented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released different considerations for higher education institutions, ensuring students, school, and faculty staff’s safety and health. 

College Visits - fact 1

The twinge of coronavirus has taken its toll on many incoming college students. In light of the schools and universities closing, many prospective college students are confused about going over and proceeding with their enrollments, college searches, and campus visits.

Fortunately, many higher education organizations have come up with alternative methods right away, making off-campus a useful variable for selecting the best college. 

Here are the improvised alternative ways for your college search without an on-site campus visit:

1. Most of the schools now offer virtual tours. 

If you already have a list of schools you are most likely to attend, search them online for their virtual school tours. Many schools have structured a virtual tour that is quite similar to gathering enough information. You may also use Google Maps if you would want to consider the geographical aspect.

Since you can’t pay the school an actual visit, research its nearby areas, restaurants, and stores to see if it has everything you need. Schools also offer virtual tours of their housing options so that you can look at them online, too.

2. College consultants are available for online communications.

Aside from the online information sessions and tools provided by colleges, some have assigned college consultants or faculty staff whom you can speak with online.

You can set up an appointment and communicate through their online platform, and you can ask all your questions and explain your concerns directly. This is when you can evaluate the responsiveness of the school and admissions staff, too.

3. Rely on as many resources as you can find online, including social media.

Despite not being able to visit on-campus, you will have unlimited resources online through the school’s website. However, suppose you want to have more in-depth information not provided by the admissions or any school representative.

In that case, you can opt for digging more data organically, and these may be found in many social media accounts. You will notice the real feedback, opinions, culture, and practices of a university. 

4. Ask around and utilize the word-of-mouth approach.

Another effective way to hear and collect more views toward a school is by asking ideas from your friends, acquaintances, relatives, family, or anyone you know who has or knows someone who attended the school that you are interested in.

Chances are their advice is realistic, and you will be able to ask more about the school’s offerings and your interests. 

5. Join different online education seminars and offerings.

Many universities and colleges have adapted to online student interactions and webinars. Q&A panels and virtual information sessions are being conducted to replace the face-to-face prospective students’ orientation. These online means allow students to ask anything about the school during the Q&A session.

If it’s any consolation, students would feel more comfortable asking online due to limited physical exposure compared to standing and speaking in front of everyone during an on-site orientation. 

College Tours: Post-pandemic

There have been many changes in the higher education approaches in America. Car campus tours, drive-through style, or a tour guide connected via Zoom software are just among the creative ways that some colleges and schools have applied in response to the COVID-19 restrictions.

However, this will limit exploring other areas like dorm rooms and libraries, which can only be toured while having a physical visit. Although these approaches have worked effectively for others, they won’t apply to all universities and colleges.  

One of the noticeable changes that have been implemented by many schools is the admission process. Conventionally, one requirement for getting admitted to college is taking the SAT exam. An article released by CNBC mentions that SAT and ACT exams have been stalled due to the coronavirus situation.

Many schools have disregarded these scores as part of their requirements and have gone test-optional , at least for a specified amount of time. It has even led to some schools permanently eliminating such conditions.

They realized how other variables effectively evaluate a student applicant’s academic capability and skills way beyond their test score performances. This has been just one of the permanent impacts that have resulted from the pandemic.

College Visits - fact 3

Digital learning systems and more practical methods have been implemented instead of other on-site and face-to-face systems for classes, admissions, and enrollments.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling Executive Director David Hawkins wrote an email to Education Dive stating that even when things gradually get back to normal, there will still be impactful financial implications for the education industry, quite like the 2008 recession. 

Most schools’ recruiting conditions have grown to be more competitive due to the pandemic, and the emotional connection of students has been a defining factor recently.

Innovative approaches to digital platforms and methods will be retained by many higher education organizations. Versatility, diversity, and a creative spirit will continue to be considered crucial components for many schools, even in the years to come.

With these forecasts and estimates, and although it’s too early to predict the aftermath effects of the Covid-19 situation, one thing is for sure though: there will be changes in the usual college search, campus tours, and college admissions. 

Tips for Your Next On-campus or Virtual College Tour

Make sure your visits are meaningful and experience the feel of college by applying these helpful tips once you go for an on-site campus tour or a virtual one. 

1. Do your research.

Research the college or university right before you schedule a campus visit. This will help you prepare questions about programs and majors that you are interested in. Get the most out of it by knowing what to ask and knowing what their specialties are.

2. Don’t be late for the tour.

You’ll realize how important it is to arrive earlier than the scheduled time once you experience one campus tour at least. Exploring the grounds and campus facilities indeed takes much of your time and energy, so plan out your schedule ahead and anticipate the walking and touring time, as well as attending information sessions. 

3. Check the weather and know what to wear.

Check the weather and be ready for what temperature the day will bring. You will be spending some hours both indoors and outdoors, so make sure to wear appropriate clothing. However, if you have an interview during a campus visit, you will also need to look professional.

Consider such situations when finding the right clothes for your campus tour. This tip does not apply to a virtual campus tour, though. 

4. Don’t let your parents take over.

It would be preferable to go on campus tours alone, independently, without your parents. It’s you who will start your college journey anyway, so own up to your obligation by learning a lot of information about the school. This will help you understand your preferences better and decide on the best school fit for you. 

5. Take advantage of all the information provided by the Admissions Office.

Although you might feel like all the information provided by many schools’ informative sessions is similar and repetitive, take advantage of listening clearly to what makes a school different than the rest. Feel free to ask specific questions that will suit your needs as a future student at the school.

6. Explore the nearby and local area.

If you are physically going for a campus tour, you should consider knowing and learning what the nearby stores and establishments are. This will help you have a fun time while enrolled on the campus. Roam around and discover if the area is suitable for your lifestyle and needs.

For virtual tours, you may replace this advice with a geographical research method instead. You can still check the areas of the school through Google Maps.

7. Be open-minded.

Don’t be quick to judge. Even if you’ve heard many opinions and advice from friends and family, enjoy your campus tour with an open mind. Write your thoughts and ideas about the school so that you can review them later when you’re ready to make a decision.

Always have a positive mindset, whether you go for a virtual campus tour or a virtual tour.

10 Best College or Virtual Tours

Below is a list of schools and universities presenting organized processes for in-person or virtual campus tours:

Boston College

Offering everything virtually, you can explore Boston College and connect with its community through its online platform. They understand that nothing beats the feeling of physically visiting their campus, so they spent much of their efforts sustaining a reliable virtual tour for prospective students like you. 

They have designed two virtual visits: the Virtual Eagle Eye Information Session and the Live Virtual Campus Tour. The first one is a live informational program that is conducted by an admission counselor. It covers and entails the admission process, provides details about financial aid, and lets you participate and contact current students.

The latter is a live campus tour session where you will experience a live virtual tour, which feels like visiting the campus in real life. This tour will also allow you to join the interactive Q&A session with their student tour guides.

Yale University

Enjoy a virtual tour with a 3D tour guide representative on the right side of the website page.

Their virtual tour is designed similarly to a VR model, which enables you to take a 360-degree look at many pictures and images of the different buildings, campuses, and facilities of their university. With high-definition photos, you’ll get to feel like you’re visiting the school physically.

Yale University is currently not accepting on-campus visitors due to the COVID-19 situation, but you will be able to access different resources online. You will have a lot of information even by browsing through their website. Everything you need to know about their application process for freshmen students is provided on their Apply Online page . 

Northeastern University

Northeastern University currently accepts limited visitors for their on-site campus tour. However, if you’re a state visitor, you have to check and comply with Massachusetts’s Current Travel Order , as this is a pre-requisite and is strictly implemented by the local government.

The Northeastern Visitor Center is equipped with staff and student guides who can assist you with your inquiries, and they are ready to serve from Mondays until Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Northeastern University also designed and prepared an interactive virtual tour that hosts live and recorded video content if you want to experience a similar-to-an-up-close campus visit.

You can have a view of the rich history of their academic rigor while catching a glimpse of their campus, facilities, student housing, and elegant green spaces. A current student ambassador will conduct this virtual tour guide.

Besides the virtual tour, you will have access to their online resources like the Virtual Admissions and College Sessions and Virtual Prospect Events.

Bentley University

Visit Bentley University either on-campus or virtually. They will start a limited physical campus tour beginning January 2022, but you have to check and comply with Massachusetts’s Current Travel Order , as reinforced by the local government.

A current student will guide you and help you understand a real college experience at Bentley University.

Another way to enjoy an on-site campus visit is by registering for their Self-Guided Tour. If you select this option, you will be given a pre-determined route guide and essential information about the campus and the facilities. Register to get the directions and available schedule slots for your self-guided tour.  

Bentley University also holds a live Virtual Information Session that runs for about 30 minutes and allows you to interact with their admission counselor.

They also offer Live Remote Campus Tours, which are dynamic and designed to provide a one-on-one session with a student tour guide who can assist you with all your inquiries.

Another interesting virtual event is their Virtual Interview, where you can connect with an admission representative. You will be able to share why you’ll be a suitable prospective student while gathering information about the admission process. 

Penn State University

Due to the suspended on-campus tours and visits, Penn State University has restructured its virtual systems to offer a broader scope of resources and online tour opportunities to interested applicants.

There are many online visits, programs, and events to explore and discover for you as you browse through their website.

The Penn State University Park Virtual Visits is the perfect program for you if you would like to network with other incoming students. You can share valuable information, like the admission process, program and major options, and the anticipated experience as a Penn State community member.

As for virtual appointments, you can also directly speak to an admissions representative so you can be thoroughly guided through your enrollment and application steps.

University of Notre Dame

Having a temporary suspension for their physical campus tours, the University of Notre Dame joins other colleges and universities in their pursuit of creating sustainable college virtual tours for incoming college students.

An admissions counselor is in charge of hosting video webcasts that can support all the information needed by a prospective student.

They will share topics about academics, community, extracurriculars, and religious activities offered by the school. These webinars also tackle more on the admissions process and the financial aid process. If you are interested in joining, there are slots available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

As for a virtual campus tour, there are student tour guides available who can manage to give you a brief tour of their buildings, spaces, and locations of the university. They will go right into detailed areas like residence halls, classrooms, library, dining halls, and other sites.

You can ask direct questions to your tour guides in real time. The schedule for these virtual tours starts every Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

University of California: Los Angeles

Join the online webinars hosted by current students of UCLA. They deliver different kinds of virtual tours intended for first-year students and transferees. You can even have house tours and visit a class since they have started utilizing online learning platforms.

Another exciting tour offered by UCLA is their Cub Tours, which is intended for students in Kindergarten until their 8 th grade. You can schedule your online tours according to their available time. 

University of Houston

Actual campus visits have been canceled until further notice due to the pandemic situation. However, to maximize and prioritize health measures, you will be able to experience a thorough campus tour using their alternative online platform.

Register and schedule a Virtual Campus Visit with the University of Houston and receive a live campus tour from a current student ambassador. Please take advantage of the brief information session that will be hosted by their admissions representative.

Once you register for their information session, you will have more knowledge about the university, its academic opportunities, admissions processes, and campus life. They have different offerings that are suitable based on various student’s needs. 

The live guided tour will be hosted by a student ambassador who will take you across 600 acres of the campus area. You can conveniently follow and browse their building’s facilities and discuss on-campus activities through your gadget. 

Florida State University

Visit and explore Florida State University using its different campus tour services. They have stopped their in-person campus visits for the rest of the year 2020, so please be guided with their virtual alternatives.

Like other schools, you will have a chance to interact with their student ambassadors and admissions counselors should you have any inquiries or questions about their FSU community and campus life. 

They hold many virtual events every day, so you will have many opportunities to attend information sessions, tours, and Q&A panels as you wish. They also offer videos and podcasts to understand what options you can find when studying at FSU.

Browse through their Visit Us page, and you’ll be delighted with their organized manner of virtual campus visits and housing tours, too. 

University of Virginia-Main Campus

Become a Cavalier and discover more about their community and school values. Although they do not offer Grounds visits for now due to the COVID-19 situation, they provide intensive resources for you to explore more about their majors, programs, admissions, and learning systems.

They have also structured a Virtual Visit program, where they bring their campus to you instead. They highly recommend you participate in their information session.

Whether you are a transferee or an incoming freshman student, you will have many opportunities to subscribe to their informative sessions, virtual tours of their grounds and campus, and have a chat session with administrators and representatives. Get started now and join their contact list . 

12 February 2015

Suggested College Tour Itineraries

college tours map

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.

Suggested starting point

  • Boston College
  • Northeastern
  • Boston University

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 .  

Boston campus visits itinerary

  • Sarah Lawrence

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.  

New York campus visits itinerary

  • Syracuse University
  • Ithaca College
  • Hobart and William Smith

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 .

Syracuse campus visits itinerary

Washington DC

  • American University
  • George Washington
  • Johns Hopkins
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Virginia

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 .  

Washington DC campus visits itinerary

  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern
  • University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
  • University of Wisconsin

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

  • Case Western
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • University of Michigan

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.

Cleveland campus visits itinerary

San Francisco

  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • University of San Francisco
  • Santa Clara University

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.  

San Francisco campus visits itinerary

Los Angeles

  • Claremont Colleges
  • UC San Diego

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.

Los Angeles campus visits itinerary

  • Tags: American , Amherst , Babson , Beloit , Boston College , Boston University , CalArts , Carnegie Mellon , Case Western , Chapman , Claremont McKenna , Colgate , Columbia , Cornell , Cornell College , Fordham , George Washington , Georgetown , Hamilton , Hampshire , Harvard , Harvey Mudd , Hobart and William Smith , Ithaca , Johns Hopkins , Kalamazoo , Kenyon , Knox , Loyola Marymount , Michigan , MIT , Northeastern , Northwestern , Notre Dame , NYU , Oberlin , Occidental , Ohio State , Olin , Pepperdine , Pitzer , Pomona , Princeton , Purdue , Rochester , Rochester Institute of Technology , Santa Clara , Sarah Lawrence , Scripps , Smith , Stanford , Syracuse , Tufts , UC Berkeley , UC Davis , UC San Diego , UC Santa Cruz , UCLA , UMass Amherst , UMass Lowell , University of Chicago , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , University of Richmond , University of San Francisco , University of Virginia , USC , Virginia Tech , Wabash , Washington and Lee , Wheaton - IL , William & Mary , Williams , Wisconsin , WPI , Yale , Yeshiva
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How it works: PGA TOUR University Ranking

How It Works

How it works: PGA TOUR University Ranking

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After the NCAA D-I Men’s National Championship in May, the top-20 players in the final PGA TOUR University Ranking earn membership on the PGA TOUR (No. 1), Korn Ferry Tour (Nos. 1-10), or PGA TOUR Americas (Nos. 6-20). The PGA TOUR University Ranking is limited to seniors, who may accept performance benefits after the conclusion of their college careers.

In partnership with the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), PGA TOUR University ranks players based on the last two years of their collegiate careers. Eligible Tournaments include NCAA Division-I men’s team competitions, official PGA TOUR tournaments and select DP World Tour events. Players competing in Eligible Tournaments earn points equivalent to the number of points awarded by WAGR®, except for the NCAA D-I Men’s National Championship and professional Eligible Tournaments (as described in the Rules and Regulations ).

A player’s “Points Average” is the average number of points he receives at each Eligible Tournament on his PGA TOUR University record, multiplied by 100. Each tournament is weighted equally (i.e., players’ Divisors are not aged on a sliding scale). During the college golf season, the PGA TOUR University Ranking is updated weekly on Wednesdays. A player’s detailed record can be displayed by clicking his name on the Ranking page .

College Golf Tournaments

At most regular-season college golf tournaments, there are 54-hole team and individual competitions, and many are competed across two days (36 holes on Day 1 and 18 holes on Day 2).

Team scoring is often 5-count-4, where a team’s single-round score is comprised of the four best scores of the five players in the lineup. (Variations include 6-count-5 and 6-count-4.)

For the PGA TOUR University Ranking, a player earns points based on his individual finish in an Eligible Tournament.

NCAA Postseason

Teams who win their Conference Championship earn automatic berths into NCAA Regionals. In all, 81 teams and 15 individuals compete in one of the six NCAA Regionals Championships, as selected by NCAA Division-I Men's Golf Committee. The top five teams and the low individual not on those teams from each Regional advance to the NCAA D-I Championship.


· The No. 1 player on the PGA TOUR University Ranking will earn PGA TOUR membership for the remainder of the current season, as well as the following season.

· Players finishing Nos. 1-5 are exempt on Korn Ferry Tour for the remainder of the current season, and they are exempt into Final Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry. They may also accept unlimited sponsor exemptions on the PGA TOUR for the remainder of the current season, as well as the following season.

· Players finishing Nos. 6-10 earn conditional status on Korn Ferry Tour for the remainder of the current season, and exempt status for the current season North America Swing of PGA TOUR Americas. They are exempt into Second Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry.

· Players finishing Nos. 11-20 are exempt for the current season North America Swing of PGA TOUR Americas, and they are exempt into Second Stage of PGA TOUR Q-School presented by Korn Ferry.

For a complete list of Performance Benefits, please see the Rules and Regulations .

PGA TOUR University Accelerated

The PGA TOUR University Ranking features seniors. But high-achieving freshmen, sophomores and juniors can earn PGA TOUR membership through PGA TOUR University Accelerated.

Players earn points based on their accomplishments in college, amateur and professional golf, and they will earn PGA TOUR membership if they amass at least 20 points by the end of their third year of NCAA eligibility.

Click here for a full breakdown of PGA TOUR University Accelerated .

best college tour guides

The Fine Line Campus Tour Guides Walk—Backwards

Guides are expected to serve as the face of the university and as an authentic voice for prospective students. Can they truly be both?

T he clouds are playing matador defense on the sun when I get to the Washington, D.C., campus of Georgetown University in mid-July. They stunt at shading my already sweaty neck before retreating and allowing the sun to beat down once again. Walking into the Edward B. Bunn, S. J. Intercultural Center is a respite. There, seated and smiling behind a white pop-up table, I meet Jaydon Skinner—one of the university’s famous Blue and Gray tour guides.

In 40 minutes, Jaydon will lead a group of prospective students and their parents around campus. The group will bend around historic buildings, as Jaydon tells stories about the time he encountered former President Bill Clinton—“My tours have the presidential seal of approval,” he’ll say—and the school’s 2017 hire of a Hall of Fame NBA star and Georgetown alum, Patrick Ewing, as head basketball coach. But first, the nearly 200 people signed up for the tour will be crammed into a small, wood-paneled auditorium for an information session with Bruce Chamberlin, a senior admissions director at the university.

The group gathered here on this muggy Thursday is partaking in what, for some families, is a rite of passage: the summer college tour. No one would like to buy a home sight unseen, so why would families want to enter into a four-year-or-more deal with a sticker price of upwards of $200,000 without first seeing exactly what they were getting? Campus tours provide them with an opportunity to interact with students and admissions officers. They allow them to learn what exactly goes into the university’s admissions process. (Does the school require SAT subject tests? Personal essays? Do they do alumni interviews?) And at Georgetown, which seems to hit a new record-low acceptance rate each year, every iota of information could help.

Chamberlin, who himself was a tour guide while a student at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, gives a quick rundown of some hard truths about admissions. Pacing back and forth in front of the audience, he tells them that while he doesn’t “want to raise the anxiety,” he needs to paint an accurate picture of the process. The good news: If the students get in, they have a 98 to 99 percent chance of making it to sophomore year—and a 91 percent chance of graduating in four years. The bad news: The students cannot apply to the university using the Common Application, which is accepted by more than 800 colleges. More good news: The fact that Georgetown is not on the Common App means that the school’s application volume is not as large as it would be if it did use it.

Chamberlin gives the students a lot of dry, nuts-and-bolts information about the university: the history of the seal, the schools, how to declare a major. He talks about the university’s foundational values, which include “being a man or woman for others,” and urges students to examine who they want to be academically, intellectually, socially, and culturally. Of course, the narrative is a selective one, the school’s history evoked for its commitment to service and the liberal arts, pointedly leaving out the role of enslaved people in the school’s founding, despite the school having publicly wrestled with that part of its story in recent years. Diving into that is not Chamberlin’s job; he’s here to paint a portrait of a university any student would love to attend.

Read: The first reparations attempt at an American college comes from its students

After about 35 minutes, Chamberlin wraps up and points to a slide with a photo of the city in autumn. He implores the crowd, “As you go on your tours, just picture this. A beautiful fall day, 72 degrees, and 50 percent humidity.” The group laughs. “Our tour guides can speak about the experience at Georgetown more authentically,” Chamberlin goes on. On top of that, they “are very good at finding shade trees, hydration stations, anything you need.”

The tour guides emerge, and Jaydon plays MC. “Hey guys, welcome to Georgetown, are you happy to be here today?” The tour guides introduce themselves inside the auditorium, then shuffle out of the room to the square outside where families divide themselves up based on who they want to lead their tour. Jaydon, a junior from Charleston, South Carolina, who is studying anthropology and political science, introduces himself first. Then there is Erica, the government major. Matt, the Aquarius. Emily, from Los Angeles.

best college tour guides

The would-be Hoyas, their parents, and the guides head outside, and the heat has its way with us instantly. Prospective students make visors with their hands. Jaydon, coolly sporting a short-sleeved plaid button-up shirt, cutoff jean shorts, and white low-top Air Force 1s—the shoe of choice for most of the male guides—asks those who flock to him where they are visiting from. Richmond. Boston. New Jersey. California. North Carolina. China. He asks what they are interested in studying. “Oh, anthropology? Stick around after the tour, and we can chat about it,” he tells one student.

After the families choose their guides, and brief announcements are made—most significant, perhaps, that the university is close enough to Reagan National Airport that air traffic overhead will obscure some of the things he says—we’re off. Each group is its own flotilla in the fleet. Jaydon, stepping backwards over twigs, bricks, and sidewalk cracks, is our coxswain.

C ollege tours are anxiety -inducing. For the students, for the parents, and for anyone who has ever watched someone walk backwards for an hour straight up staircases, around corners, and through buildings while spouting facts. That’s why, about a decade ago , several institutions moved to remake their campus tours. They told their tour guides to face forward and threw out their scripts. They paid tour consultants exorbitant fees. But here at Georgetown, the student tour guides still embrace the classic model. They stick to the script; they never turn away from the group.

The first plane buzzes overhead not long after the tour begins. The building to our left is White-Gravenor Hall. “If you look above the front door, there are two dates, 1634, and 1789. Those two dates have very important meaning in Georgetown’s history,” Jaydon says. Slowly marching. One, two. One, two. They are the dates that serve as markers of the university’s founding. Some historians say it was 1634, but 1789 is the date that the university, itself, recognizes. One parent moves her daughter toward the front. Jaydon never stumbles, but we do. The accidental bumps and sorry s and quiet my bad s create a low hum as the group finds its rhythm behind Jaydon. The different guide-led groups fan out. One heads for the main gate. One group breaks left. Ours makes a beeline for Healy Hall—the main administrative building, and one of the most architecturally interesting buildings on campus. We pause.

best college tour guides

“If you Google Georgetown, it’s probably the building that you’ll see,” Jaydon says. He gives a spiel about the president, the seminars he teaches, and the building’s library—which he swears looks like the library from Beauty and the Beast. We continue straight along the path in front of Healy Hall and past another library before we hang a right and go down a slight decline. Jaydon peeks behind himself and stops. A car is coming. He had tripped over one at an intersection the week before. “I’ve fallen a bunch of times, I’ve scraped up the back of my ankles,” he told me later. He usually tells people at the beginning of the tour, “Let me know if something is coming behind. It’s funny for you but not for me.” But it’s always safest to sneak a look occasionally.

He steers us to the right, and I see a tree I know. Two years ago, in April 2017, this tree was watered by the descendants of the 272 people who had been sold to save the university. The “libations ritual,” as they called it, had been part of a day full of programming to acknowledge the university’s legacy of slavery. The tree stands in front of the sign for Isaac Hawkins Hall. Hawkins was the first enslaved person listed on the sale agreement in 1838. As some descendants watered the tree, others read all 272 names, one by one. William. Tom. Jim. Henry. Francis. Steven. Ann. Betsy. Matilda. Kitty. I’m pulled out of the memory by the footsteps of another tour group approaching us from behind. As the group nips at our heels, Jaydon simply explains that Hawkins Hall is one of the student residences. We move on.

best college tour guides

A tour guide’s job is to present the university in the best possible light, and they train intensively to do so. Unlike at most colleges, the guides here at Georgetown are unpaid members of a student group. The group is, in part, how Jaydon—and other tour guides—found community at Georgetown, and that’s why many of them do it. When they join, they are given a handbook with information about the college, which they study as they join more experienced tour guides for training tours. Then they take an assisted tour, where another guide leads and they jump in occasionally, offering bits of interesting information. Then they host their own tour, accompanied by an experienced guide. Finally, they are on their own, walking backwards with a group of parents and students hoping to be in the 14 percent of applicants who will get to call themselves Hoyas.

Read: Does it matter where you go to college?

Still, even though the guides are given a handbook, they can choose what to highlight and what to leave out. Each guide gives his or her groups something different. One might emphasize the dining areas they favor or buildings they have classes in; another might focus on campus programs and student life. And, of course, guides may mix things up day-to-day to keep the tours fresh for themselves.

The guides put a glossy sheen on the university, highlighting its best aspects and, at times, obscuring its flaws, pulling those who join them on their journey across campus into an expertly woven tapestry of fact, figure, and fun—with just the right amount of spin.

A fter tromping up hills and around bends, nearly everyone is wiping sweat away. Jaydon considerately lets us know we will soon be inside an air-conditioned building.

The building is the Leavey student center. Students bustle about, some high-school students here for summer programs, some Georgetown students taking summer classes.

Past the food court, Jaydon stops the group. This is the part where he tells his personal story. Neither of his parents went to college—in fact, no one in his family has. Still, the would-be first-generation college student knew that it was something he wanted to do—even though he didn’t know exactly what he was looking for in a college. He did know that he wanted to study political science, and doing it at one of the country’s top schools, located in the nation’s capital, seemed appealing. So he applied to Georgetown during the early-action period, which allowed him to learn his admissions decision by mid-December. He was not admitted during that period. He made other college plans. He picked out potential classes. He had his eyes set on another institution. But Georgetown was still working in the background. If a student doesn’t get in during the early-action phase, they are lumped in with the regular-decision applications and looked at again.

In April of his senior year, Jaydon received a small, thick envelope from Georgetown in the mail. He took it upstairs to open in his room. He got in. But he had never visited the campus. He had tried to visit several times, but the first few times, flooding in Charleston, where he’s from, meant that flights out of the city were canceled. Another time he came down with food poisoning.

He decided to attend Georgetown anyway, sight unseen. Move-in day was the first time he saw campus, and he was dropped off at the wrong gate. “I wouldn’t recommend anyone do that,” he says, and the group chuckles. By virtue of being on Jaydon’s tour, they are a little bit more informed than Jaydon himself had been as a prospective freshman. And in the hectic world of highly selective college admissions, that little bit could make all the difference.

best college tour guides

Several students and parents huddle around Jaydon to ask questions after the tour, which ended after he shared his personal story. How many classes can students take in a subject before declaring a major? Where are the baseball coach’s offices? What are the requirements for the different undergraduate schools? The group dwindles to a few families who stand to the side Googling nearby lunch options, and Jaydon is nearing the bottom of his Smartwater.

If he had gone on a campus tour the summer before his freshman year, “I definitely would have known it got this hot,” Jaydon laughs. And if he’d had a tour guide like himself to talk to about his college decision, he might have known more about the resources for students on campus, meal plans, the dorms, the faculty. All of it. “Hearing from someone who is actually going to the school and wants to tell you about it definitely provides you a more candid look at the university—something you can’t get from a website or a video,” he says.

Jaydon might still have his guide face on as we’re talking. He doesn’t like to talk about what he doesn’t like about Georgetown. Sometimes on tours people ask him to, and when they do, he likes to talk about the things the university is doing to address its issues. “Obviously things that I don’t like about Georgetown are my own experiences and interactions and everyone’s are going to be different,” he told me. Though he also recognizes that, in many cases, the university is working to address those issues—even if not at the pace he would like it to. “I want to try to be as honest and straightforward as I can while still being a positive representative of the university.”

Campus tour guides are placed in a difficult position. They are mouthpieces for the university, but at the same time, prospective students look to them for an accurate depiction of college life. Walking that line is tough; even more so when you’re doing it backwards.

When to Visit Colleges

Find the right college for you..

two female students outside

How to Schedule Your Campus Visits

Visiting a college campus is one of the most exciting steps in choosing a college. It’s best to visit colleges before your applications are due. That way, you can be confident you'd be happy at any college you're applying to.

It's also best to go when the college is in session. You'll see the campus when classes are meeting and day-to-day activities are in full swing.

How to Pick a Date

Here are some guidelines on when to visit. Plan your visit well ahead of time. That way you can make sure you see what you need to see and meet with the people who can tell you what you need to know.

During the Week

Mondays through Thursdays are ideal for visits because you can get a good idea of what campus life is like. Visiting on a Friday may not be as practical. Students, faculty, and staff might be busy with social activities starting Friday afternoon.

High school holidays that fall on Mondays are often perfect opportunities for making college visits. Many colleges are in session on these days─and you won't be missing any of your high school classes.

The Best Seasons

The spring of your junior year is a good time if you've already researched colleges. Spring break is also good if you play fall sports or are considering applying under early action or early decision plans, which usually have application deadlines in November of your senior year.

Early fall is also a good time for seniors to visit. That timing can help seniors narrow their college lists.

After You've Been Accepted

Colleges where you've been accepted might invite you to spend a few days on campus before the May 1 reply date. Many schools do this to encourage students they've accepted to enroll. This is an excellent opportunity to make in-depth comparisons between the colleges that have accepted you. If possible, visit with current students who attended your high school.

However, if you're waiting to visit colleges after you've received acceptance letters, remember that you may have only a few weeks to visit and decide. Most colleges mail acceptance letters in April and expect a reply by May 1.

When Not to Go

Check specific dates with each college so you don't arrive when the campus is deserted. You can call the college or look on its website for the academic calendar to find out when breaks, reading periods, and exam periods are scheduled.

Colleges are not in session during:

  • Thanksgiving weekend
  • Christmas week
  • Winter and spring breaks
  • Summer, unless there is a summer session

College classes don’t meet during:

  • Reading period
  • Saturdays and Sundays

The admission office may be closed to visitors at certain times.  For example, admission officers may be too busy to meet with you in May and April — that’s when they’re reviewing applications. Check with the college.

Adapted from   Campus Visits and College Interviews   by Zola Dincin Schneider.

When is the best time to visit colleges?

The best time to visit colleges depends on individual preferences, but typically, spring and fall are popular seasons for campus visits. In spring, you can witness campuses come to life with blooming flowers and vibrant energy. At the same time, fall offers the opportunity to experience the start of a new academic year and the excitement of campus activities. By choosing these seasons, prospective students can immerse themselves in the college atmosphere and gain valuable insights into campus life.

What’s the best time to schedule an individual campus visit?

Schedule an individual campus visit during weekdays when classes are in session, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in the campus atmosphere and get a firsthand experience of student life. Interacting with current students, attending classes, and exploring campus facilities during these times can provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about the college.

How many college visits should I make?

The number of college visits can vary based on individual circumstances, such as the number of colleges you're considering and your availability. However, you’ll want to visit a handful of colleges that align with your interests and goals. This can help you make a well-informed decision about your future education.

At what grade level should I start visiting colleges?

Generally, it’s recommended to start visiting colleges during your junior or senior year of high school. By then you should have a clearer idea of your interests and goals. The college visits will be more purposeful and allow you to assess how well each college aligns with your academic and personal goals.

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