A Complete List of College Fly-In and Diversity Programs

May 28, 2024
5 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 5/23/24

Choosing the right college can be challenging, especially if you can't visit in person. How do you know if it's the place for you without experiencing it firsthand? 

That's where college fly-in programs come in—they make campus tours accessible for everyone, regardless of financial barriers. 

Throughout the US, these programs offer invaluable opportunities for students to explore different colleges, helping them make more informed decisions about their future. Let’s take a look at colleges across the country that offer these programs, making campus visits possible for students from all backgrounds.

What Is a College Fly-In Program?

A college fly-in program invites underrepresented students to campus, covering transportation, accommodation, and sometimes meals. They aim to provide firsthand campus experiences, including attending classes and meeting faculty and students. 

By making college accessible and promoting diversity, these programs help students explore new options and contribute to inclusive college environments.

A Complete List of College Fly-In Programs

Check out this complete list of fly-in programs, offering underrepresented students the chance to visit campuses, get a taste of college life, and explore their higher education options.

1. Amherst College

Amherst College launched its Access to Amherst (A2A) program last year, inviting diverse rising high school seniors from across the United States. A2A offers an opportunity to explore campus life, interact with faculty and students, and learn about college. 

A2A is designed for students from marginalized communities, as well as those who are first-generation or facing economic challenges. It offers helpful sessions on admissions and making college affordable.

2. Bates College

Bates College launched Prologue to Bates, a program for rising high school seniors interested in joining their community. Open to seniors nationwide, especially those underrepresented in higher education, like first-gen or low-income students, Prologue to Bates aims to provide support and resources for every student, regardless of their financial situation.

3. Bowdoin College

Explore Bowdoin gives low-income and/or first-gen students a firsthand Bowdoin College experience in Maine. Stay with students, attend classes, and explore Brunswick—all covered by Bowdoin. Eligible applicants are US high school seniors or prospective students, including undocumented/DACA students. There’s a preference for those from lower-income, first-gen, or rural backgrounds.

4. Brandeis University

Brandeis University's SEED program celebrates diversity and inclusion annually, by offering rising high school seniors nationwide the chance to meet faculty, learn about admissions, and explore campus and Waltham. 

Eligibility is for U.S. rising high school seniors with one parent or guardian, with preference given to those from underrepresented backgrounds, like first-gen college students and those from low-income communities.

5. Bryant University

Bryant University offers a reimbursement program for high school seniors or prospective transfer students traveling to Rhode Island. 

They cover half the ticket cost for visits, and if you enroll as a full-time student, they'll reimburse the rest. Simply register, submit a reimbursement form, and provide your receipt within 30 days. Note: this offer is for students only and excludes families or recruited athletes.

6. Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College offers fly-in programs for underrepresented high school students interested in women's education. They’re looking for candidates who embody the qualities of a typical Bryn Mawr student: enthusiastic learners who embrace diversity and aim to make a positive impact. 

7. Bucknell University

The Journey to Bucknell program at Bucknell University is all about seeking out bright, diverse high school seniors and showing them what the campus has to offer. 

Eligible students from areas like Baltimore, New York City, Philly, and D.C. get to participate for free, with accommodations provided. During the program, students engage with current students, meet faculty, get application tips from the admissions team, and explore campus resources. 

8. Calvin College

Calvin College's Entrada program offers high school juniors and seniors a chance to experience college life firsthand. With a focus on student choice and academic guidance, Entrada emphasizes personal growth within a welcoming Christian community. Eligible students can also receive scholarships of up to $10,000. 

9. Carleton College

Carleton embraces diversity and offers the Taste of Carleton (TOC) program for students from diverse backgrounds. TOC gives you a taste of campus life, including classes and meetings with admissions staff and students. 

10. Case Western Reserve University

At Case Western Reserve University, the Diversity Overnight program is for high school seniors from diverse backgrounds. They cover your travel costs and set up your stay at a local hotel. You'll explore Cleveland's University Circle neighborhood and get a taste of student life during the Fall Open House. It's a chance to see if CWRU is the right fit for you.

11. Colgate University

Colgate in Focus (CIF) gives high school seniors a chance to learn more about diversity at Colgate University. Through CIF, prospective students can connect with current students, faculty, and staff to explore different aspects of diversity on campus.

Aligned with Colgate’s commitment to diversity, CIF welcomes seniors from low-income, first-generation, or historically excluded backgrounds. It's a program designed to support students who have overcome unique challenges in pursuing higher education.

12. The College of Idaho

Experience The College of Idaho firsthand with its fly-in reimbursement program. They'll reimburse up to $250 for your plane ticket, making campus visits affordable. While they cover commercial transport, fuel, car rentals, and personal mileage aren't included. Unfortunately, recruited athletes are ineligible for this program.

13. College of the Atlantic

High school seniors can join College of the Atlantic's Fall Fly-In program, attending classes, dining on campus, and exploring Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The college welcomes intellectually curious students, especially from underrepresented backgrounds, covering expenses for accepted participants. Eligible applicants are US high school seniors.

14. College of the Holy Cross

College of the Holy Cross offers the Perspectives Program for high school seniors who face barriers to visiting campus independently. 

Designed for those from families with limited finances, attending Title I schools, or unable to travel alone. First-generation college students are especially encouraged to apply. Holy Cross welcomes applicants from all backgrounds to explore their campus through this program.

15. College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

At the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University, prospective students can experience campus life firsthand with a Fly-In Weekend. Accepted students enjoy a two-night visit, meeting students, professors, and coaches. CSB+SJU covers roundtrip airfare or reimburses flight and hotel expenses for individual visits with a parent.

16. Colorado College

Colorado College's Fall Visit Scholarship Program gives high school seniors and gap year students a firsthand look into campus life. Apply by submitting the Experience Colorado College (ECC) Application and your transcript. 

Accepted students receive travel and accommodation details, with flights and lodging covered. Open to diverse backgrounds, it includes campus tours, faculty meetings, and insights into financial aid and diversity initiatives.

17. Connecticut College

Connecticut College hosts two Fly-in Programs: Explore in the Fall and Spring Connections in the Spring, perfect for interested high school seniors. Tailored for BIPOC, first-gen students, or those passionate about social justice. Participants explore campus, meet the community, and join signature admission events like Fall Open House (Explore) or Camel Day (Spring Connections).

18. Columbia University 

Columbia Undergraduate Admissions and the STARS College Network are teaming up for the STARS Columbia fly-in program. This three-day, two-night program is for high school seniors from rural areas or small towns interested in Columbia College or Columbia Engineering. Limited to 25 students, it's a great chance to explore campus life and what Columbia has to offer.

19. Emory University

The Emory LEADs Experience aims to recruit talented high school seniors from diverse backgrounds, including first-gen college students and underrepresented cultural or socioeconomic groups such as Black/African American, Latinx/Hispanic, and Native/Indigenous populations. This hybrid program, held throughout the fall, provides support and opportunities for students to engage with Emory University.

20. Dartmouth College

The Indigenous Fly-In Program at Dartmouth College offers rising high school seniors from across the U.S. a unique chance to explore campus life and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Department. 

With over 30 years of history, the program provides valuable insights through campus tours and advice from admissions staff and current students, making it an invaluable resource for Dartmouth University’s future students.

21. Davidson College

At Davidson College, Access Davidson is a special visit program just for high school seniors from historically marginalized backgrounds. If you're a first-gen student or from a rural or low-income community, this is for you. 

It's only for students in the US and Puerto Rico, and if you haven't been to campus before, you get first dibs. Lasting three days, Davidson covers everything: transport, meals, and where you'll stay.

22. Hamilton College

The Home at Hamilton program offers a unique opportunity for high school seniors to experience campus life firsthand. It's designed for those who might not have had the chance to visit Hamilton College otherwise. 

During the two-day event, students engage in meaningful conversations with current students and staff while learning about the college's offerings and resources. Plus, overnight accommodations are provided, and travel costs are covered for those who need assistance. 

23. Haverford College

Haverford College's Have-A-Look program welcomes underrepresented students to campus. They engage with faculty and students in diversity discussions, including admission interviews. Need-based travel scholarships are available for eligible US high school seniors.

24. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University's Hop-In Summer Program is a five-week opportunity for first-gen and limited-income students. Participants take credit-bearing courses, connect with mentors, and explore Baltimore. Ongoing coaching and funding resources support students' academic and professional journeys. 

25. Kenyon College

Kenyon's KEEP program supports underrepresented students, including diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQIA+ individuals, first-gen students, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. 

It offers a summer experience with coursework, supportive peers, and mentors. Selected students receive stipends to ease financial barriers, with ongoing financial aid throughout their undergraduate journey at Kenyon.

26. Lehigh University

Lehigh's Diversity Achievers Program is a special chance for certain high school seniors to dive into campus life. For two days and a night, you'll join in classes, tours, and talks with students and faculty. It's all about showing you the vibrant Lehigh community and helping you make connections for your college journey.

27. Luther College

Luther College offers a travel reimbursement program for high school seniors to check out campus. They cover your travel costs, making sure money isn't a barrier to exploring Luther. It's all about making their welcoming community accessible to everyone.

28. Miami University

Miami University's Bridges Program gives high school seniors from underrepresented groups insight into campus life. With workshops, tours, and chats with students and faculty, you get a feel for Miami's academic and social scene. They also offer scholarships to program grads, showing their commitment to helping students succeed in college and beyond.

29. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The MIT fly-in program, Weekend Immersion in Science and Engineering (WISE) program is a chance for rising seniors from underrepresented backgrounds to dive into MIT's innovative environment. Fully funded, it covers transport and lodging, removing barriers to access. Through workshops and interactions with faculty and students, participants get a taste of life at MIT and explore STEM career possibilities. 

30. Oberlin College

Oberlin College's Diversity & Access Program, also called Oberlin Overnight, gives prospective students an all-expenses-paid campus experience. From tours to workshops, it's about welcoming students and showing them they belong. At Oberlin, diversity is key. They're all about creating a supportive campus where everyone feels welcome.

31. Pomona College

Pomona College's Perspectives on Pomona (POP) program gives high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds a personalized peek into campus life. You'll get guided tours, meet faculty and students, and learn about academic and social opportunities.

Pomona also provides travel assistance and lodging, making sure finances don't stop you from experiencing liberal arts education at its best.

32. Reed College

Reed College's Senior Scholars Program offers underrepresented students a chance to experience campus life firsthand. They provide either partial or full funding for the visit, aiming to remove financial barriers. 

Participants in the program will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and students, allowing them to gain a better understanding of Reed College's unique educational approach and the various opportunities available for personal and academic growth.

33. St. Olaf College

St. Olaf College's fly-in program invites high-achieving seniors for an immersive campus experience. It’s an opportunity to learn about financial aid, chat with faculty and students, and explore the campus and community. St. Olaf's focus on diversity and inclusion shines through, showing their dedication to welcoming all students.

34. Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College's Discover Swarthmore program welcomes diverse high school seniors to explore campus life up close. Through tours, class visits, and conversations, participants learn about academic and social opportunities. Swarthmore covers all expenses, ensuring financial concerns don't get in the way of students from experiencing a liberal arts education.

35. Trinity College

Trinity College's Bantam Bound program provides both in-person and virtual visit opportunities for students. From campus tours to discussions on admissions and financial aid, participants get valuable insights into Trinity's offerings. With a special focus on first-gen, Native Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and students of color, Trinity emphasizes its dedication to diversity and inclusion.

36. Tufts University

Voices of Tufts, a two-day visit program by Tufts University, introduces high school seniors to campus diversity and community. It's open to all US seniors and prioritizes those from underrepresented backgrounds. The program is free, with transportation provided for those in need, and application fees waived for all participants applying to Tufts.

37. Tulane University

Tulane University's PreviewTU Multicultural Fly-in program gives high school seniors a full look into campus life. You'll explore classes, join activities, and connect with students and faculty to see our inclusive community in action. They also offer travel reimbursement, so money won't hold you back from experiencing everything Tulane has to offer.

38. Union College

Union College's GTKU event welcomes high school seniors from diverse backgrounds to experience campus life. With campus tours, class visits, and interactions with students and professors, participants explore Union's academic and social opportunities. Union covers all expenses, ensuring financial barriers don't limit students. 

39. University of Evansville

University of Evansville's fly-in reimbursement program helps high school seniors visit campus. They cover a portion of travel expenses, ensuring everyone can experience campus life. It's all about accessibility and inclusivity, showing their support for students from diverse backgrounds in their college search.

40. University of Rochester

The University of Rochester's MVP program gives high school seniors a realistic campus experience. They cover your travel, stay and even set up special activities. It's all about showing off Rochester's vibrant and inclusive vibe. The focus is to make sure every student feels welcomed and supported.

41. Ursinus College

Ursinus College's Access Fly-In program welcomes students from diverse backgrounds, first-generation college students, and those from low-income families. It offers an immersive campus visit to highlight academic and social opportunities. This underscores Ursinus's commitment to diversity and inclusion, supporting students in their college search journey.

42. Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University's DIVE program offers high school seniors an immersive campus visit. You'll engage with faculty, explore resources, and learn about admissions and financial aid. It showcases the university's vibrant community and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

43. Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University's WesExplore program invites high school seniors from historically underrepresented groups in higher education for a free campus visit. You'll meet faculty, check out campus resources, and get insights into admissions and financial aid. It's all about showcasing Wesleyan's vibrant community and supporting students from every background.

44. Williams College

Windows on Williams (WOW) offers high school seniors three all-expenses-paid days at Williams College. It's selective and open to US and Puerto Rican students, with priority given to high-achievers who can't afford a visit otherwise. Participants stay in dorms, attend classes, meet professors, and learn about admissions and financial aid.

45. Grinnell College

Grinnell College's In-Person Admitted Student Day offers admitted students an immersive experience on campus. You'll engage with faculty and students, explore resources, and learn about post-grad opportunities, all aimed at supporting you in making informed decisions about your college journey. 

46. Middlebury College

Middlebury's fall fly-in program offers a firsthand look at campus life. If not selected, students can explore Middlebury virtually or in person. Discover Middlebury, an all-expenses-paid fly-in, is for intellectually curious students who may not afford a visit otherwise. 

Participants will dive into student life, academics, and enjoy activities like workshops with Middlebury's dance crews. It's a chance to envision your college journey.

47. Wellesley College

Wellesley College's Discover Wellesley Weekend invites high school senior girls for an immersive campus visit. 

With travel grants, they engage with faculty, explore resources, and learn about admissions and financial aid. It highlights Wellesley's inclusive community, focusing on supporting women in higher education. The program prioritizes inviting rising seniors from underrepresented groups.

48. Yale University

Yale University is expanding its Multicultural Open House (MOH) program to include a fly-in component. This initiative, in partnership with the university's cultural centers, aims to bring high school students from across the country to New Haven at Yale's expense. 

By covering travel costs, Yale hopes to level the playing field by promoting accessibility for underrepresented students. Though it’s still in the works, hopefully the Yale fly-in program will help build a more diverse campus culture.

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of College Fly-In Programs

To ensure a rewarding college fly-in program experience, it's essential to come prepared and make the most of your visit. Here are some tips to help you maximize your time on campus:

  • Do Your Research: Before your visit, familiarize yourself with the college or university you'll be visiting. Have a list of questions ready to ask during your visit, and be prepared to take notes to remember important details.
  • Apply for Fly-In Programs: Take advantage of fly-in program opportunities offered by colleges and universities. Apply for programs that interest you and make attending a priority to get a firsthand experience of campus life.
  • Engage Fully: Take advantage of every opportunity to engage with staff, faculty, and current students. Make connections and ask questions to gain insight into campus life and academic opportunities.
  • Embrace New Experiences: Be open to trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone. Use this opportunity to explore campus, meet new people, and participate in activities that interest you.
  • Pack Appropriately: Make sure to pack comfortable clothing, shoes, and any necessary toiletries for your overnight stay. Follow the school's suggested packing list and leave room in your luggage for souvenirs.
  • See Everything You Can: Make the most of your visit by exploring all aspects of campus life, including campus organizations, surrounding areas, and student activities. Capture the full experience by immersing yourself in the college environment.
  • Talk to Staff and Students: Take advantage of opportunities to interact with staff, faculty, and current students during your visit. These connections can provide valuable insights into the college community and academic offerings.
  • Be Prepared: Come prepared with research and questions about the college or university. This demonstrates your interest and engagement during your visit.
  • Show Appreciation: Show appreciation for the opportunity to visit by thanking those who made the trip possible. Consider sending a handwritten thank-you note to express your gratitude.
  • Follow Up: After your visit, follow up with any professors or admissions officers you met to express gratitude and ask any remaining questions. This helps to build relationships and reinforces your interest in the college or university.

Fly-in programs offer a unique opportunity to experience campus life firsthand and make informed decisions about your future college. By following these tips, you can make the most of your visit and have a successful and rewarding experience.

Final Thoughts

College fly-in programs are a great way for students to explore campuses firsthand and get a taste of college life. By taking advantage of these opportunities, students can learn about academic programs, meet faculty and students, and experience campus culture. Remember to ask lots of questions and embrace new experiences to make the most of your visit. 

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