If you are a high school senior year, you should already have your target colleges identified and are laying out plane to make a full charge toward the schools on your list. One important aspect of selecting a school is of course the campus visit where you get a chance to take a look at the actual campus and get a feel for the place. This is really important because you will be spending four years of your life there. You need to love it and know that is has the things you need to further your education and make you comfortable.
If you have your eyes on some West Coast schools, most of the top schools are located in the state of California. Making a college tour through these schools needs to coordinated however because they are scattered in Southern and Northern California. These areas are about 385 miles or 6 hours driving apart, so any school tour needs to be carefully planned.
A few quick things to figure out to allow you to make your plans are:
Picking the Right Time to Visit Your Target Schools
Most schools have specific times when they allow potential students to visit the campus. Part of this is because they want to manage the process and make you feel welcomed. Also many schools have really tightened security so you need to make sure of your dates. Contact the school and be prepared to give them specific information about how many people are coming, who those people are, what you want to visit on campus and when you would like to come. If you are traveling with a group, perhaps someone else will make the specific details. If it is a large group they may be broken up over several days to get everyone into the school. Make sure they have your proper info and you get all the pertinent details. You should do this with each school to find the best time to plan your trip.
Make Sure You Have the Proper Transportation
Depending on the size of your group, you will need anything from a car to a large bus to accommodate all of you. This of course needs to be set up in advance and you should do it with a company that is familiar with handling student tours. If you’re planning on touring any of these campuses with your class, sports team, or student group, consider a charter bus or school bus rental out of San Francisco so that you can all arrive together, safe and well rested.
Make Yourself a Detailed Map with Directions
The distance between these schools is considerable including hours of driving in likely unfamiliar areas. Having a resource like Google Maps is great but you also want to do all you can to familiarize yourself with the area by doing online research so you do not run into any surprises or end up late because you are lost. So make a clear itinerary of all of your stops and be reasonable about how many schools you can visit in a da. Two are plenty. After that your mind will be on overload. And remember that California has the worst traffic in the United States so give yourself extra time.
Here are a list of schools that you should target on the West Coast as selected for their popularity, fantastic school culture and great academics.
University of California Berkeley (Cal Berkeley)
The University of California, has a number of academically highly rated schools in their state system with the Berkley campus being rated the highest. The school, often referred to as Cal or Cal Berkeley is located up in the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Cal Berkley has 20,000 students on a 1,232 acre campus, was started in 1868 and is one of the most highly regarded schools in the world. The school has hundreds of student clubs and organizations and thriving group of sororities and fraternities as well. The school ranked 21 n the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities.
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Calltech has become one of the top engineering schools in the world and currently feeds many California based government agencies and private aerospace companies with graduates. It is a private institution with a small enrollment of only 980 and occupies a small campus in Southern California’s Pasadena neighborhood 11 miles Northeast of Los Angeles. The school requires that freshman students live on campus and has an intense is completely focused on graduating top engineers and scientists.
University of Southern California (USC)
The University of Southern California is located in downtown Los Angeles and has other campuses around the area. It was founded in 1880 as a private institution. The schools has more than 18,000 students and the campus is 226 acres. The university has more than 1,000 on-campus organizations that range from religious groups to club sports. The university offers housing in its 40 or so residence halls and apartment buildings. The school ranked 21 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities.
University of California – Los Angeles – UCLA
UCLA is California’s most highly enrolled school with nearly 31,000 students. The campus of this public institution is located in LA’s Westwood neighborhoods, which is about five miles from the Pacific Ocean. The school is one of the most famous and featured in the country because of it stellar programs for theater, film &TV, medicine and law. The campus is 419 acres and its school ranking is 21.
Located in California’s Bay area, about 30 miles from San Francisco, Stanford is recognized as California’s top academic institution. The private university was founded in 1885. And currently has an undergraduate enrollment of 7,034, on its suburban 7,000 acres. The school offers students a broad number of student clubs and organizations and connects with many other top schools across the country for research studies. Stanford University’s ranked #5 in the 2018 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities.