California College Tour 2024

Explore California's top universities with NSHSS!

**TOUR IS FULL - 2025 registration will open this fall!**

On this tour, NSHSS students will have the chance to visit several exciting California cities while learning strategies to get the most out of college visits! Participants will learn what questions they should be asking of campus officials, how to compare schools to one another, and what factors are most important in their college selection process. On the tour, students will visit: 

  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB/Cal)
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • University of Southern California (USC)
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
  • University of California, Irvine (UCI)
  • University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
  • Loyola Marymount University (LMU)
  • Pepperdine University
July 7-13, 2024
San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Malibu, & San Francisco, California

California College Tour Pricing

NSHSS Member
Twin: $3,650
Single: $4,250
Twin: $3,900
Single: $4,500
*Prices are per person

*Parents may accompany their student on tour by registering individually with a separate enrollment form. Please see the FAQ section for more information

Included in this price

  • Hotel accommodations 
  • Charter bus transportation
  • All meals
  • All gratuities
  • Full-time tour director
  • Illness & Accident Coverage
  • NSHSS swag bag
  • Guided tours & activities
  • Refreshments on Bus
  • Parent Information Packet

Early Enrollment Discount: 

Receive $100 off your tour fee when you enroll before January 1, 2024!


Check out last year's California College Tour

Look back at our very first California College Tour from June 2023! See pictures, tour participant reviews, and more!


Tour Itineary

NOTE: This itinerary is not final and is subject to change. 

Meet NSHSS and EU Tour staff at San Diego International Airport
NOTE: Travelers on this tour should book their flights arriving BEFORE 3:00 PM PST on Day 1. The ideal arrival window is between 1-3 PM PST for minimal airport wait time. Tours staff will coordinate airport pickups.

Hotel check-in in San Diego

Dinner and sightseeing in La Jolla
Greet fellow travelers, say hello to the sea lions, and enjoy dinner on the beach in La Jolla Cove.

Breakfast at hotel
Enjoy a hot breakfast before venturing out to see Orange County and sunny San Diego.

Morning Tour: University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Start your morning at San Diego's top public university, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Grab a quick lunch as we head up the coast to beautiful Orange County

Afternoon Tour: University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine)

Spend the afternoon exploring UC Irvine

Dinner & hotel check-in
Join your fellow travelers for dinner and evening fun at Downtown Disney!

Breakfast at hotel
Put away your mouse ears and enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out for a day of SoCal College Touring.

Morning Tour: University of Southern California (USC)

In the morning, take a group tour of top private university, University of Southern California (USC)

Enjoy lunch with your friends before heading out for our afternoon tours

Afternoon Tour: Cal Tech

Hop back on the bus and head out to visit the world-renowned science and engineering institute Caltech

Dinner & hotel check-in
Dinner and some evening sightseeing in Old Town Pasadena before heading back to the hotel for a good night's rest.


Breakfast at hotel
Enjoy a quick breakfast before heading out to visit some of LA's top universities.

Morning Tour: Loyola Marymount University

In the morning, take a tour of the beautiful campus of Loyola Marymount University

Gather together for lunch before heading to iconic Westwood.

Afternoon Tour: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Spend the afternoon on the beautiful campus of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Dinner & hotel check-in
Enjoy dinner and shopping on 3rd Street promenade and Santa Monica Pier before driving up the coast towards Malibu!


Breakfast at hotel
Enjoy a hearty breakfast and prepare for your visits to these stunning seaside campuses.

Morning Tour: Pepperdine University

In the morning, begin your day with a tour of Pepperdine University on the gorgeous Malibu Coastline.

Enjoy lunch in the beautiful seaside air before heading up the coast.

Afternoon Tour: University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

In the afternoon, enjoy a tour of University of California, Santa Barbara located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Dinner & hotel check-in
Take in the beautiful seascape as we make our way to the heart of Silicon Valley for dinner and a good night's rest.


Breakfast at hotel
Enjoy breakfast before venturing out to see California’s iconic Bay Area and two of the nation's top universities.

Morning Tour: Stanford University

In the morning, begin your day with a tour of the prestigious Stanford University 

Enjoy lunch and afternoon walking in Downtown Berkeley

Afternoon Tour: University of California, Berkeley (CAL)

After lunch, head out to your final tour at one of the nation’s top Universities, UC Berkeley, aka Cal

Dinner, hotel check-in, and sightseeing in San Francisco

Stop and take photos at the iconic Golden Gate Bridge before traveling to iconic San
Francisco. Enjoy an evening exploring Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and Ghirardelli square
before retiring to your hotel for a well deserved rest.


Breakfast at hotel

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the airport for your flights home.

Depart for home from San Francisco International Airport
Don't forget to thank our motor coach driver before departing the motor coach for your flight home out of San Francisco Airport (SFO)! The recommended departure time is in the morning or afternoon. Tours staff will provide transportation to the airport.

Important notes

Please read prior to registration!

All students attending the tour must be current high school students or have graduated high school within the same calendar year.

Your $500 deposit is non-refundable but will be applied to your total tour fee.

Tour fee payments may be made incrementally over time, but at least 50% of the tour cost is due by March 8, 2024 (or upon enrollment if enrollment is after this date), and the remaining balance must be paid in full by May 3, 2024, to attend the tour. Failure to meet these payment deadlines may result in removal from the tour.

All NSHSS travelers are required to agree to the official Booking Conditions and NSHSS Academic Tour Code of Conduct before departing on tour.

Flights are not included in the program fee. Travelers should book their flights arriving at San Diego International Airport (SAN) between 1:00 - 3:00 PM PST on Sunday, July 7, and departing any time on Saturday, July 13, out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Our tour staff will coordinate airport pickup and drop-off.

The Early Enrollment Discount of $100 off the total tour fee is available for enrollments before January 1, 2024. The discount will be reflected in the invoice received upon enrollment.

The tour enrollment deadline is April 1, 2024. Any enrollments past this date will be taken case-by-case and may be subject to a $200 late fee.

Frequently asked questions

Click the Headers for more info!

These terms refer to hotel room occupancy. All aspects of the tour are the exact same for each attendee, so we base the tour price on the attendee's hotel room preference. If you select TWIN, you are reserving ONE SPOT for yourself in a hotel room with one other person. The hotel room will have two beds, with one person in each bed and two people in the room in total. If you do not have a roommate request (who is a paying traveler on tour), you will be matched with a roommate. If you select SINGLE, you are reserving an entire hotel room for yourself. For this tour, TWIN accommodations are recommended, but if you would like your own room, there is a $600 upgrade charge imposed by the tour company. All tour pricing is per person.

Yes! To attend the CA College Tour, each attendee must purchase a tour by filling out an enrollment form individually with their personal information. Both student & parent must fill out their own enrollment form to sign up. Parents are allowed to accompany their students on this tour, and they would participate in all aspects of the tour just as every other member does. For parents planning to attend, please note this is a dry tour, and alcohol consumption will not be permitted during the day's tour programming.


Each attendee (parents and guests included) must fill out their own individual enrollment form to attend the tour. Please note tour prices are per person regardless of group size. Adults can only be placed in a room with students they are attending the tour with. If a parent and a student would like to attend the tour and room together, the student would fill out an enrollment form and select TWIN, and the parent would fill out their own enrollment form (with their information as both the traveler and emergency contact) and select TWIN. If the student does not want to room with their parent and would like to be paired with other students attending the tour, the parent must select SINGLE, and then the student can select any rooming option.

If you are planning on attending with a group of 3 or 4 and would like to all share a room, please email, and we will make an exception for your group to stay together. 

No! As an NSHSS member benefit, members and their guests can use the NSHSS member tour pricing. Please note tour prices are per person. Non-member pricing is reserved for students unaffiliated with NSHSS who would like to attend the tour.

Each attendee is responsible for their own transportation arrangements. NSHSS does not assist with airfare, and flights are not included in this tour price. With NSHSS members all over the country, it would be too difficult to facilitate flights for every member coming from different airports at different times. Some members are also within driving distance and don't need flights, so we are able to offer a lower price for everyone without flights included.

The package includes hotel accommodations for the week, charter bus transportation, all meals on tour days, guided tours and activities, a full-time tour director, refreshments on the bus, parent information packets, and all gratuities.

The CA College 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 to get 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 college selection process. The university's student ambassadors will lead most tours, but others may be led by current university students, depending on the campus. Where available, campus tours could also include an information meeting provided by admissions office staff.

This a traveling tour with a very tight schedule. We are fitting ten university stops into five days while traveling up the coast, so a good bit of time will also be spent on the road. We will be doing A LOT of walking – anywhere from 10,000-20,000 steps and at least 5 miles PER DAY. We will be outside a lot, and it will most likely be hot since it is summer in California. Students are encouraged to pack comfortable clothes and shoes, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, portable fans, and some snacks to keep with them during the day or to have at night in their hotel rooms. The hotels will also have snack bars with snacks for purchase, but it will be important to have non-perishable/non-melting snacks on hand during the day. When we leave the hotel in the morning, we will not be returning until we check into a new hotel at the end of the day. The days will be very long, but the experience will be worth it!!

NSHSS will provide a welcome dinner reception upon attendees' arrival in San Diego on Day 1. On each full tour day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided. Snacks and drinks will also be provided at various points on the bus, but make sure to bring some snacks or money to buy some snacks if you get hungry easily! On departure day, attendees can enjoy breakfast at the hotel before making their way to the airport. 

The NSHSS CA College Tour is only sold as an all-inclusive tour package, so, unfortunately, we cannot remove the hotel's cost from the tour price as that is a large part of the package. Keeping all tour participants at the same hotel makes it easier to keep everyone accounted for overnight so we don't run into logistical issues in transportation to and from the hotel and daily activities. This is also a traveling tour, so attendees are staying at a new hotel each night. The package, however, does not include airfare as members are flying in from all over the country, so that's great you are so close and won't have to worry about purchasing travel arrangements!

Upon arrival in San Diego, tour staff will meet attendees at the airport baggage claim. Students are encouraged to book flights arriving between 1 - 3 PM PST for minimal wait time. Once the entire tour group arrives, we will load onto the bus and head to the first hotel to check in!

As NSHSS tours are entirely optional to our members, we currently do not have any financial assistance programs for our tours at this time. However, payment arrangements are very flexible to allow participants to create their own payment plan and pay the tour fee in increments of their choosing at any time and as many times as they would like up until the final due date. We send all of our invoices through PayPal, which also offers several payment plan options. Please be sure to check out our NSHSS Scholarships page for multiple scholarship opportunities, where many of the scholarships are open to both high school and college students. Keep an eye out as new scholarships are always being added!