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42 College Fly-In and Diversity Programs: A Complete List

Campus visits are a great way to learn about a college’s culture and determine whether it’s the right fit for you. Unfortunately, not every student can afford to visit every college on their list. If you’re unable to visit colleges for any reason, you should make sure to thoroughly review them online.

 

However, for high-achieving, underrepresented students, there is an alternative. Some colleges offer fly-in or multicultural programs to high-school seniors who are low-income, first-generation, or students of color. Read on to learn about these programs and how to make the most of them.

 

What Is a College Fly-In Program?

 

College fly-in programs are highly competitive college visitation programs for underrepresented students. Institutions fly students in to stay at their campuses for two or three days, allowing students who might not get a chance to visit otherwise to get a feel for the college and campus.

 

In most cases, the college covers costs including transportation, room, and board or offer to reimburse you for some of your expenses associated with visiting their campus.

 

Most colleges just fly in admitted students, but some offer the opportunity to prospective students. Examples include:

 

Columbia Engineering Experience

Johns Hopkins Overnight Multicultural Experience

Penn Early Exploration Program

 

Keep in mind that these programs are very competitive. To apply, you usually need to submit an application, essay, letter of recommendation, transcription with junior-year grades, and ACT/SAT scores.

 

Fly-In Programs: A Complete List

 

Below is a complete list of colleges and universities that offer some form of a fly-in program to prospective students. Schools that only fly in admitted students were not included in this list since many colleges provide resources for admitted students to visit.

 

Amherst College

 

Access to Amherst (A2A) takes place in the fall to introduce prospective applicants to Amherst’s campus, student body, faculty, and classes. A2A is available to all prospective students, but the selection committee prioritizes the invitation of students from historically excluded groups, such as African-American, Hispanic/Latinx American, Native American, and Asian-American backgrounds, as well as first-generation students. This year the program takes place at the beginning of October. You’ll need to submit an application including essays, transcript and recommendation letters to be considered. Your A2A essay can then be used in lieu of Amherst’s supplemental essay.

 

Barnard College

 

Barnard Bound provides a taste of Barnard College for promising young women who are current high school seniors, attending school in the U.S., and self-identify as students of color. Students can fill out an application to apply. In 2021, the program was virtual, but it will most likely return to normal this year. 

 

Bates College

 

Prologue to Bates is a program all seniors who attend high school in the U.S. and Puerto Rico can apply for, especially students who are first-generation-to-college, low-income, and historically excluded from higher education. The program takes place in October.

 

Bowdoin College

 

Explore Bowdoin offers prospective students an opportunity to stay with students, attend classes, meet professors, eat in the dining halls, explore downtown Brunswick, check out student clubs and organizations—and learn about the college admissions process and financial aid along the way. There are two sessions in September and October. Bowdoin handles all of the logistics and covers the cost of the trip.

 

Brandeis University

 

Students Exploring and Embracing Diversity (SEED) allows rising high school seniors who currently reside in the United States to meet distinguished faculty and current Brandeis student leaders, develop a comprehensive understanding of the college admissions process, and attend an evaluative admissions interview to support your application to Brandeis. The program takes place in the fall.

 

Bryant University

 

Bryant will reimburse you for half the cost of your ticket (up to $250) to travel to Rhode Island by plane, train, or bus to visit Bryant. If you enroll as a full-time student at Bryant, you’ll receive the remainder of your travel fare, up to a total of $500.

 

Bryn Mawr College

 

Bryn Mawr offers two fly-in programs, Travel Scholars for juniors and Road Scholars for seniors. Travel Scholars will attend various virtual admissions workshops, academic panels, and social events. The program is offered in the Spring virtually. Road Scholars have the option to apply to three programs: Social Justice, Black @ Bryn Mawr and Mix and Mingle that take place in October and November.

 

Bucknell University

 

The Journey to Bucknell program is designed to introduce high-achieving, traditionally underrepresented high school seniors to Bucknell. Prospective students will engage with current upper-level students in small group activities and discussions and meet Bucknell faculty in a sample class experience. The program usually takes place in the fall, but dates have not been announced.

 

Calvin College

 

The Entrada Scholars Program at Calvin University offers racial and ethnic minority high school students the opportunity to experience college learning and living while earning college credit. Students can enroll in a 3 or 4 credit college course in areas such as English, history, biology, or psychology. Accepted students receive a grant that covers most Entrada costs, including tuition, room and board, books, and activities. Scholars who successfully complete the program are awarded a $4,000 Entrada Scholarship for each year they attend Calvin.

 

Carleton College

 

Taste of Carleton (TOC) is a fly-in program designed for high school seniors. It is also all-expenses-paid! It occurs every fall for students who apply and are invited to attend. Students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, like students of color, first-generation college students, and low-income students, are given priority. Applications are usually due in July, and students are notified of their acceptance in August. TOC then takes place in late September or early October.

 

Case Western Reserve University

 

Case offers their Diversity Overnight program in November for smart and curious high school seniors from diverse backgrounds. The goal is to give students an in-depth look at the opportunities available to students at the school. CWRU covers transportation costs and can assist with arrangements. Students arrive Sunday and stay overnight in a residence hall with a student host. It will roll into Fall Open House, where prospective students can learn about how students contribute to classroom discussions, participate in meaningful extracurricular activities and engage in hands-on learning. You will need to submit your application along with an overnight release form and medical release form.

 

Colgate University

 

Colgate in Focus allows prospective students to engage with current students, faculty, and staff while gaining a deeper understanding of diversity at Colgate. This program is one of the ways Colgate encourages an inclusive community, and is intended for high school seniors who identify as low-income, first-generation, or other historically excluded backgrounds who have overcome unique personal or structural challenges in their journey to pursue higher education. Students must attend summer webinars before their trip to campus. Applications are due in August, and the campus visit occurs in October.

 

The College of Idaho

 

While the College of Idaho doesn’t have a specific fly-in program, they do offer reimbursement for student fly-in visits. Students can sign up for an individual campus visit where they can attend a class, meet with a coach, or even audition for one of Idaho’s talent scholarships. The College will reimburse your plane ticket up to $250, as well as any public transportation as long as the reimbursement form is submitted within two weeks of your visit.

 

College of the Atlantic

   

College of the Atlantic offers a selective, multi-day program where students can attend classes, enjoy meals in a dining hall, and get to know campus. Students will also learn about and explore Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Applications are welcome from all intellectually-curious high school seniors, particularly students from marginalized backgrounds and identities, particularly people of color, first-generation college students, and those from low-income households. Applications are usually due in July, with the visit occurring in October. Students should submit their application form, a response to two short essay questions, a high school transcript, and a resume or list of activities/experiences.

 

College of the Holy Cross

 

College of the Holy Cross’ Perspectives Overnight Program is for prospective high school seniors who may identify as a first-generation college student, student of color, lower-socioeconomic student, or an international student. Students are encouraged to ask honest questions, build genuine connections, and gain insight into the admissions process and community at the COHC. Travel grants are available for students to use, and covers airfare, a bus or train ticket, as well as a hotel stay. Meals for all attendees are provided. The weekend program typically occurs in November.

 

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

 

CSB+SJU’s fly-in program is designed for accepted students who live outside of Minnesota. Students will experience life as a Bennie or a Johnnie on a two-night visit to the campuses. They sleep in dorms, eat in the dining halls, and meet current students, professors, coaches, and other prospective students. Admission staff will book your flight and pay the remainder of a roundtrip airline ticket. On campus, they will explore the 3,000 acres of lakes, woods, and hiking trails the schools have to offer.

 

Colorado College

 

The Experience Colorado College program often occurs during the weekend of Indigenous People’s Day. Students meet other prospective students from around the country, explore the community and campus, and engage in conversations about building a conscientious student body. To apply, students submit the application information, an unofficial transcript, and a short evaluation form filled out by your high school counselor. If you are accepted, you will receive information about registration, flight information, accommodations, and ground transportation reimbursement if you’re driving. The travel grant also covers flights and accommodations for one parent or guardian to accompany you.

 

Connecticut College

 

Every fall, Connecticut College hosts Explore, a program for high school seniors of underrepresented backgrounds, as well as students committed to diversity and social justice. Students at Explore meet peers, current students, faculty, and staff who can share what it’s like to be a student of color at Conn and all the resources that are available to create a strong community. Explore often takes place in November, and applications are usually due in September.

 

Dartmouth College

 

Dartmouth hosts an Indigenous Fly-In (IFI) program each October designed to give prospective students an in-person experience of what daily life could be like at Dartmouth. Students learn about Dartmouth’s Indigenous community and the resources the school has to support it, along with college admissions and financial aid processes. The program is open to rising seniors attending high school in the US who identify as Indigenous or have a demonstrated interest in the Indigenous community and/or Dartmouth’s Native American and Indigenous Studies Department. Students will experience a tour of the campus and facilities, a community dinner, and admissions workshops.

 

Davidson College

 

Access Davidson is a college visit program hosted by Davidson College for high school seniors from historically excluded racial and ethnic groups, those who are first in their family to attend college, and students from rural or low-income backgrounds. It is open to students attending high school in the United States and Puerto Rico. Those who have not been on an official visit are prioritized, and Davidson will cover the cost of transportation to and from campus, meals, and overnight accommodations for program participants. Students learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion while hearing from those leading student organizations, connecting with admission and financial aid officers, and attending an in-person or virtual class. Access Davidson occurs in October.

 

Hamilton College

 

Home at Hamilton is a two-day program for high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds, including students of color, first-generation college students, lower socioeconomic students, and students from rural communities. Students will converse with current Hamilton students and staff, learning about the opportunities available to them at the school. All students are provided overnight accommodation and travel costs will be covered for those who need assistance. Home at Hamilton usually takes place in October, and for those who cannot make it to campus, a virtual option is available.

 

Haverford College

 

Haverford’s Have-A-Look program is a two-day program for high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to learn about the academic and social scene Haverford offers. Students interact with faculty and administrators, learn about diversity and inclusion at Haverford, engage in an open dialogue with current students and complete an admission interview. Haverford provides need-based travel scholarships for Have-A-Look participants.

 

Johns Hopkins University

 

Similarly, Johns Hopkins offers Senior Visit Days, where high school seniors can visit campus, learn about the culture and community, sit in on classes, and learn about student resources. They also get to meet current students, and get a firsthand look at living and learning on campus. These days occur throughout the year, and students just need to register. Johns Hopkins accepts travel assistance applications for each Senior Visit Day on a limited, first-come, first-served basis. General registration for these opens on September 1.

 

Kenyon College

 

The Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program (KEEP) is directed at underrepresented students, including students of color, LGBTQIA+ students, first generation students, lower socioeconomic students, students with disabilities, and others. It is designed to support and empower these students, making them familiar with Kenyon before Orientation. Students are offered an intense academic experience during the summer and connect with supportive peers and mentors. Stipends are provided to students who are selected. This program is 2.5 weeks long and students who complete it gain access to financial aid throughout their years at Kenyon.

 

Lehigh University

 

Lehigh’s Diversity Achievers Program is offered to select high school seniors from underrepresented backgrounds. It lasts two days and one night, and tends to be held in October. Participants learn about student support services, connect with current students, have a classroom experience, and live and eat on campus. To apply, students must submit the application information, a transcript, a short essay, proof of COVID vaccination, and a Parent Agreement Form.

 

Luther College

 

High school seniors who have applied to Luther can be eligible for reimbursement for their travel costs to visit the school. Students can be eligible for this program when they complete an individual visit. Receipts are submitted to the admissions office following your visit. Students can schedule a visit online at a time and date that works for them.

 

Miami University

 

Miami’s Bridges Program is available to high school seniors from historically underrepresented groups to meet current students, engage with faculty, and learn first-hand about the community at Miami. Students who complete the Bridges Program and then enroll at Miami are eligible for further scholarships as well. These programs take place in various Ohio cities between October and November. Round-trip transportation is provided from select cities and airports. Applicants must provide their program application and a personal statement, along with a recommendation from their counselor.

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

MIT’s Weekend Immersion in Science and Engineering (WISE) is a three-day program for rising seniors to learn about life at MIT. It is completely free, including transportation to and from MIT. Students from underrepresented backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply, including Black, Latinx, and Native American students, lower socioeconomic students, first-generation students, and students from rural or predominantly minority high schools. It tends to take place in September, with students staying on campus with a current MIT undergraduate student while learning about academics and campus life. Students get to meet peers, current students, and faculty while attending workshops on the college admissions and financial aid process. Applications are due in August.

 

Oberlin College

 

The Multicultural Visit Program (MVP) at Oberlin is aimed at high-achieving high school seniors interested in the College of Arts and Sciences. It is an all-expense-paid program occurring in October and November. Applications are due in September. Students will experience a campus tour, class visit, admissions and financial aid workshops, and activities with current students, faculty, and staff. There is also a virtual option in December. In order to be eligible, a student must be from one of the following backgrounds: Native American or Alaska Native, Asian American, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latinx, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, low-income, or first generation.

 

Pomona College

 

The fall Perspectives on Pomona (POP) program is aimed at furthering the academic journey of students who come from underrepresented groups, students who are first-generation or low-income, and students whose identities are in other marginalized communities. It is open to all eligible high school seniors, and usually held in October. Students are provided with shuttle transportation between local airports and the college, lodging at the nearby hotel, and all meals for the duration of the program. There are also travel grants to cover airfare expenses and mileage reimbursement.

 

Reed College

 

Reed’s Senior Scholars Program is a three-part program that takes place over a year with the Reed community. It is designed for underrepresented students and students of color to learn about life at Reed, create lasting connections with current students and faculty, and receive a partially- or fully-funded travel voucher to visit campus in the spring. Students interested in the program must apply Early Action or Early Decision and submit a Senior Scholars interest form by October 15.

 

St. Olaf College

 

St. Olaf’s fly-in program is open for high-achieving rising seniors who haven’t visited St. Olaf and identify as students of color, receive free/reduced lunch, or will be first-generation college students. During their visit, students will learn about the school’s need-based financial aid program and the ins and outs of the application process, interact with faculty and meet current students, explore the surrounding community, and try the food on campus.

 

Swarthmore College

 

Every fall, the college hosts Discover Swarthmore, an all-expense-paid overnight program for high school seniors. The admissions department will pay for all transportation, meals, and on-campus housing for students selected. Students will attend classes, stay with current students in residence halls, eat in the dining hall, and go to campus events. They will also attend panel discussions and informal conversations with faculty, staff, alumni, and current students. These occur between September and October. Students can apply online.

 

Trinity College

 

Trinity offers both an in-person and virtual visit program. In-person, the Bantam Bound program offers a two-day experience on campus focusing on first-generation, Native and Indigenous, LGBTQIA+, and students of color. All students who apply to the program receive a Common Application waiver, and students can apply online. The visit takes place in November and all expenses are paid. Students learn about life as a member of the community attending discussions facilitated by campus partners and classes led by Trinity professors.

 

Tulane University

 

Tulane’s PreviewTU Multicultural Fly-in is a two-day program that takes place in October for prospective, BIPOC, or first-generation high school seniors. Students explore classes, immerse themselves in campus life, and participate in an application workshop. Students are eligible for travel reimbursement from the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Students can apply online.

 

Union College

 

The Getting to Know Union (GTKU) event occurs in the fall each year. High school seniors from diverse cultural backgrounds get to experience life on campus, meet students and professors, attend classes, eat in dining halls, and explore the surrounding town. Application information is usually available in the late summer, and all expenses are paid for chosen students.

 

University of Evansville

 

UE’s fly-in reimbursement program provides a one-time reimbursement of up to $300 for domestic high school seniors and transfer students. UE reimburses for half your plane ticket up to $150, and if you decide to enroll will credit the other $150 to your account. Students from Alaska and Hawaii are eligible for $500. Receipts must be received by the Office of Admission within 30 days of your visit. This visit can occur at any time, and can be scheduled online.

 

University of Rochester

 

Rochester’s Multicultural Visitation Program (MVP) is open to current high school seniors in the United States. Those who are accepted receive free travel to Rochester, a one-night stay with a current student in a residence hall, and specialized programming. This event usually takes place in November, and applications are due in October. Acceptance is selective and the school requires a high school transcript. Applications are accepted online.

 

Ursinus College

 

Ursinus’ Access Fly-In program is focused on the resources and opportunities available to students from ethnically diverse backgrounds or students of color, first-generation college students, students who identify as LGBTQIA+, or those from families with limited financial resources. This program usually takes place in November and applications are due in October. Applications are accepted online.

 

Washington and Lee University

 

W&L’s DIVE program is an opportunity for students to visit the campus in Lexington, VA. It is a three-day event during which students will stay in residence halls with a current student, attend class and talk with professors, sample the food in the dining hall, and explore student clubs and organizations. They learn about the college admissions and financial aid processes, as well as the resources for diverse students on campus. These events take place between September and October and students of color, students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, students eligible for the Pell Grant, undocumented students, first-generation students, and QuestBridge-affiliated students are highly encouraged to apply.

 

Wesleyan University

 

Wesleyan’s WesExplore Fly-In program is available to high school seniors who identify as African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian American, Native American, Native Alaskan/Pacific Islander, first-generation, low income, or undocumented. This program takes place in November and applications are online. Students are able to visit campus for free.

 

Williams College

 

Between September and October, the school hosts Windows on Williams (WOW). WOW is a selective program open to high school students in the US and Puerto Rico and preference is given to students who otherwise couldn’t afford to visit Williams. Students get to experience three all-expenses-paid days on campus, stay in dorms with current students, attend classes, meet with professors, and learn about the admissions and financial aid processes. Students can apply online for the program.

 

Programs On Hold

 

Due to the pandemic, some colleges moved their fly-in programs online, or temporarily suspended them. Here are some colleges that historically have had fly-in programs that may eventually reopen them:

 

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Emory University
  • George Washington University
  • Grinnell College
  • Lafayette College
  • Middlebury College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Tufts University
  • Wellesley College

 

Preparing for and Making the Most of Fly-In Programs

 

There are several steps you should take to ensure that you’re making the most of this opportunity.

 

Do your homework.

 

It’s important to research the colleges thoroughly before attending the program. You want to make sure you’re truly interested in attending and understand what the college offers. Plus, you should figure out what activities, courses, and other aspects of the school you want to investigate further.

 

Read Your Step-by-Step Guide to Researching Colleges to learn how to do so effectively.

 

Look up what costs are covered.

 

In general, the college will cover transportation, room, and board for your stay. Most colleges are unlikely to cover your parents’ transportation and costs if they want to come with you, though there are some exceptions, such as Vanderbilt.

 

Plan your visit.

 

Research which classes you want to observe and make appointments to talk to admissions counselors and financial aid officers before you leave. When you’re on campus, walk around and get a sense of the culture and atmosphere. Attend events and talk to students about their experiences. You want to get a sense of your fit with the college and make sure you can see yourself there.

 

Check out other resources for first-gen and diversity applicants.

 

Fly-in programs can significantly ease the financial burden of the college process. If you qualify, make sure to take advantage of this important resource.

 

For more assistance, check out these additional resources for first-generation and diversity applicants. They can help you apply and pay for your education. Also check out scholarships for first-generation college students.

 

What are My Chances of Acceptance?

 

Fly-in programs are great for admissions, as they give you a chance to show demonstrated interest. Demonstrated interest is a soft quality that some colleges consider during the application process. It can refer to a wide variety of actions on your part, but it all boils down to this: have you proven to be enthusiastic, or at least curious, about the school you’re applying to? If you’ve completed all the steps to a fly-in, you’re definitely showing your interest!

 

Once you’ve done the research, taken time to visit, and discovered where you fit, you probably have a clear understanding of your opinion on the school. You know if you’re going to apply, you know where this school fits on your college list. 

 

However, when you’re confronted with your acceptance chances, everything can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help! With a free CollegeVine account, you gain access to our admissions calculator. This calculator will let you know your chances of acceptance based on your academic and extracurricular profile and help you build a balanced school list.


Short Bio
Hi! I’m Cheyenne. I help educational institutions inform stakeholders and the wider public about the offerings available to them.

After graduating with my BA in History, and MA in Teaching, I knew education was my passion. Maverick Educational Copywriting was born out of my desire to make all levels of education accessible to students, families, alumni, and all other potential stakeholders. I believe education is at the heart of a healthy society, and making it understandable is a huge start! When not writing, I am usually spending time with my husband and dog, most likely hiking a new trail!