College Tour of Ivy League Schools Designed for High School Juniors and Seniors

For some of the most brilliant high school students and their families, the achievement of an Ivy League education is a dream worth reaching for and one that is within grasp. The Ivy League’s highly competitive admissions standards and large tuition costs are daunting for many high school students in the process of applying to colleges.

Yet attending an Ivy League school is desirable for many students. Those students who are academically prepared for the Ivy League may want to take a campus tour of some of the top Ivy League schools before deciding upon where to make application.

Trip leaders will want to schedule Ivy League college tours in students’ junior or senior years. Students will receive a walking tour of the college campus and an overview of the history (and in some cases the admissions process). Visiting student groups may dine at the university or participate in other activities with the campus community, as time and scheduling allows.

This sample college tour is designed for the school group interested in touring the campus of half of the eight Ivy League Schools. Included on this particular tour are: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Harvard University

Harvard Square is the heartbeat of Boston, and it is the home of Harvard University. The university provides two different college tours: a tour on the history of Harvard and an undergraduate admissions tour. Groups can decide which is appropriate or may elect to take both. The university was established in 1636 and has a rich history that dates to English Settlement. With over 20,000 students and 2,000 faculty, Harvard serves a wide constituency. Some famous Harvard faculty include Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Stephen Greenblatt. Costs for undergraduate tuition are nearly $40,000 in 2010-11 academic year. Financial aid is available to students. Like other Ivy League Schools, Harvard provides a higher education for students of all means.

Princeton University

Established in 1746, Princeton University is located on 500 acres of land in central New Jersey. Princeton’s curriculum focuses on the study of humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. With 7,500 students and approximately 1,100 faculty members, Princeton offers a 6:1 student to faculty ratio and a distinguished private education. Princeton’s famous faculty includes writer and Nobel Prize winner Tony Morrison. Alumni Eugene O’Neill was also a Princeton graduate and Nobel Prize winner. Former president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, was a student, professor, and one time president of Princeton University. Some highlights of the campus tour are Nassau Hall. Built in 1756 of local sandstone, Nassau Hall houses a faculty room that resembles the British House of Commons. Firestone Library, University Chapel, and Alexander Hall, were musical performances are held, are all architectural masterpieces students will visit on campus tour.

Yale University

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale’s campus is in the heart of an urban area. Yale has been established since the early 1700s. On a campus tour, students will see some excellent architecture from the Victorian Gothic to New England Colonial to contemporary designs. Known for its school of law, medicine, arts and sciences and elite graduate and professional programs, Yale University is an excellent choice for outstanding students. The school serves 11,000 students and employs 3,200 faculty members. Campus tours are scheduled ahead of time for groups of 10 or more, and include an orientation video, and an overview of Yale’s history and architecture.

University of Pennsylvania

The sprawling University of Pennsylvania campus has been located in West Philadelphia since the 18th Century, when Ben Franklin helped to found it. In 1791, The College of Philadelphia became the University of Pennsylvania. Today, Penn has over 25,000 students and 4,000 faculty. The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League School known for its emphasis on the liberal arts and its curriculum for the business student. Many Penn graduates seek careers in public service or the arts. The Annenberg School for Communication and the Wharton School of Business are known around the world. Penn’s culture is one that celebrates the international student. It is a campus known for its diverse atmosphere of learning. Located on Walnut Street, the campus district is also known as University City. A tour will showcase the historical architecture on campus, give students a feeling for campus life, facilities, classrooms and administration, and provide an overview of West Philadelphia.

High school students destined for college can benefit a great deal from college tours. Students travel to college campuses with their peers, learn about college life, and are given insight into the city or area where the university is located. Taking campus tours may motivate students to get started on the college application process.

Teachers, administrators and school group leaders need to plan college tours six months to one year ahead of time. Since college applications are due in February and March of the senior year, it is highly recommended that college tours be scheduled for the junior year of high school, or fall of the senior year. For more information on scheduling college tours visit

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