East Coast College Tours

The East Coast College Tour allows students to visit and experience life at several prominent East Coast Colleges. For many students, the process of figuring out which school best fits their needs is an overwhelming and confusing task. The Tour transforms this experience into an enriching and exciting summer adventure, in which students participate in campus tours, meet with admissions representatives, and receive materials to help evaluate each school. 

Tour participants are also presented with strategies in getting the most out of their future college visits. Students learn what questions they should be asking of campus officials, how to compare schools to one another, and what factors are most important for their personal college selection process. Many tours are led by the admissions office staff, others by Education Unlimited personnel, depending on the campus and tour dates. Where available, campus tours will also include an information meeting provided by admissions office staff.

Click the tabs below to learn more about this program and to view a tour schedule.

The East Coast College Tour is a wonderful opportunity for students to tour numerous college campuses and evaluate their college options. Students visit a wide variety of campuses, including private and public schools in both urban and rural areas. Participants will be able to determine if a large or small school is appropriate for them, and, with the comparison materials we give them, they will be able to review their opinions once they’ve returned home. In less than one week, students have the opportunity to experience several great American cities. In the past, participants have hiked the liberty trail, dined in Harvard Square, explored Greenwich Village and the South Street Seaport, and witnessed the impressive monuments of DC while shopping in Georgetown.

We encourage students to enroll with friends, but even those who don’t arrive knowing someone will end up with a group of newly-found peers from across the US and often around the world. Housing is provided, and students are usually housed in double or triple rooms. Most overnight stays are at business class hotels such as Sheraton, Westin, Marriott, or Embassy Suites.  When feasible, students stay in the central areas near attractions. We may also occasionally stay in a campus dorm/residence hall to get a feel of campus living.

Meals are provided, though many students choose to bring spending money for snacks or optional food items, and souvenirs. All the essential items of room, board, and transportation are provided during the trip, so it is possible to comfortably participate in the East Coast College Tour without any added cost or expense.

Students have the option to participate in the tour without the group flight, in which case they should plan to arrive in Boston and meet the tour on the evening of Day 1.

For students participating in the group flight, it will leave one of the three main Bay Area airports first thing in the morning on the day of departure (Oakland, San Francisco, or San Jose), often as early as 6 am. The group flight will be finalized in the last few weeks leading up to the tour, typically two to four weeks before departure. If you are coming into the Bay Area from another area, you should fly in the evening before departure on the group flight into Oakland airport and stay at a hotel near Oakland airport (you can email us for recommendations). Education Unlimited will pick up any students who need transit to the final airport of departure early in the morning of actual departure. By paying the additional fee for the group flight you guarantee that fee is all that you need to pay regardless of what the final amount of the ticket costs, as Education Unlimited accepts responsibility for finding a flight within the flight budget or making up the difference (and the flight costs have varied substantially from year to year)! If you choose the group flight option less than 30 days before the start of the trip, however, there may be additional costs for ticketing and any additional costs above the basic fee will be added to the total program fee. If there are additional costs related to signing up less than 30 days in advance of the trip, you will be alerted to any additional fees and be given the option to downgrade to the tour without group flight, in which case you can still go on the trip, but will simply meet up with the group at the Boston airport.

Tour for rising 9th-12th graders has one option:

  • Overnight: Overnight campers check-in after lunch on the first day of camp and check out before lunch on the last day of camp. All meals and shared accommodations are provided.
Program Grades Location Start Date End Date Price Options Register

East Coast College Tour

Day 1 Arrive in Boston 
  • Arrive at Boston Logan Airport between 2PM and 5PM.
  • Welcome to Boston, one of the oldest cities in the United States!
  • Greet your fellow travelers and enjoy dinner in historic Boston.
Day 2 Boston, Massachusetts
  • Take in the rich history of the American Revolution as we explore the Freedom Trail. Have lunch in Quincy Market before taking in the breathtaking Boston skyline.
  • As time allows, explore other Boston landmarks such as the Charles River, Prudential Center, North end, Newberry Street, and Faneuil Hall.
  • In the evening, take a ride on the historic Boston Commons swans before enjoying dinner near the park.
Day 3 Boston, Massachusetts
Day 4 Providence, Rhode Island and New Haven, Connecticut
Day 5 New York City, New York
  • Explore Columbia University - OR - Barnard College.
  • Get a quick peek at the Empire State building as we head towards Greenwich Village where you will have lunch before heading to New York University (NYU) or a local tour of the NYU area.
  • Spend a moment reflecting at Ground Zero before leaving New York.
  • After your tour, board the motor coach for a trip to Philadelphia and a tour of the City of Brotherly Love. 
  • Check into our hotel before heading out to one of Philly's best cheesesteaks and a sweet treat. The locals know it puts Pat and Geno's to shame. We recommend the Philly with cheese wiz! Really! Vegetarian options are also available. 
Day 6 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Day 7 Washington, DC

Please note: 

  • Schedule Subject to change. 
  • We offer an optional "Group Flight add-on." Without the Group Flight add on, families are responsible for arranging transportation to meet the tour at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and to depart from Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) or Washington Dulles (IAD). 
  • While rare, some universities may limit the number of students who can be on a tour. While we always try to give students their first choice, registrations are on a first come first serve basis.

Education Unlimited believes in small-group, immersive learning with subject matter experts and experienced teachers. We strive to provide industry-leading instruction to all of our students and hold all staff to the highest possible standards. Staff assignments vary by program and location. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:

Janet Wilford - College Tour Leader

Janet Willford is an experienced high-school teacher.  She has taught both leadership and speech and debate at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, CA for over twenty years.  As the winner of the Eukel Teacher Trust award in 2004 one student said of Ms. Willford: “I have never known a teacher who cares so much about her students, their lives, and their school. She is truly the best asset San Ramon Valley High School has”.  As noted by one parent, “Every mother dreams of a mentor to help their daughter blossom into a young woman. I could not have chosen a better woman for the job. Janet Willford is excellence on two feet”.  Janet has been a college tour leader with Education Unlimited since 2010.

In addition to her teaching role at San Ramon Valley High School, Janet has served as the school’s activities director since 1997.  In 2016, Janet oversaw the creation of the S.T.E.M Club on the school’s campus.  Created by the students themselves, Janet helped coordinate this effort by high school students interested in inspiring elementary age children to pursue science-based learning.  Janet has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from The University of California, Santa Barbara.