First post - how to schedule CA college trip?

<p>I am new to the college process. My daughter is a junior. We are just starting to look at schools. </p>

<p>We are going to be in Disneyland in a few months and want to tack on some college tours afterwards. She wants to look at UCLA, Occidental and the Claremonts. </p>

<p>From Disneyland, which order would you do the schools? Can we do all the schools in 2 days? Finally, which school should we end at to make it easy to fly home? I'll find hotels based upon the order we visit the schools. </p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>A more relevant thread title may help get those able to help read your post. but- don’t ask me how to change things…</p>

<p>Go to the Clairemont colleges first since they are NE of Disneyland and require patience to get there. Then go to UCLA and allow yourself some time to get there and to the airport. UCLA is off of the 405, as is the airport, right down the same highway. The freeway system is very different in LA and you may spend a lot of time getting around. Same thing with Disneyland which is in Orange County. </p>

<p>Those schools are all quite a distance away from each other and from Anaheim.</p>

<p>The Claremont colleges are the closest to Anaheim but are still about 25 miles away, which in Southern California is quite a drive factoring in traffic.</p>

<p>UCLA is the furthest but probably easier to get to if you are unfamiliar with driving in SoCal than Oxy. </p>

<p>My recommendation to to cut it to two of the 3 and maybe check out Chapman instead of Oxy or UCLA.</p>

<p>Does your daughter prefer smaller campuses? Because the Claremonts and Oxy are similar in that they are LACs and tiny, whereas UCLA is a very large state school.</p>

<p>ETA: So you will be staying in the areas of those schools so that makes it more doable. Although, that is a ton of driving in 2 days. You could visit the Claremont Colleges, Drive into LA, stay in Pasadena/Glendale even Hollywood. Then drive to Oxy in the morning, tour, then UCLA in the afternoon then stay near LAX (if you are flying from there). The big wrench in this is traffic. Weekday traffic is pretty bad from say 7-11 and 2-7, so you’d need to plan carefully.</p>

<p>Where are you flying home from? LAX, SNA, BUR or ONT? </p>

<p>You may want to look at the school websites and see if they have tours only on certain days/times. Depending on where you are coming from and what airline you are flying, there are several smaller airports in the general area that you may be able to go/in out of, not just LAX. Most schools don’t have tours during exam or holiday periods. </p>

<p>You may be able to do two a day if you can catch one in the early am and a second mid-afternoon, but if you want to see all 5 of the Claremont schools that is a day in and of itself. Occidental is tucked in a residential area and is difficult to locate initially, but all are within an hour or two drive of each other. </p>

<p>Plan for way more time than you could possibly need to drive around in CA (especially rush hour) but there is no one way that jumps out as the best sequence. I would try to go in the order of interest, to set a baseline for future comparison as it were. </p>

<p>I have been to all of those schools and I will say there was one on that list that we drive to, looked around and left before the tour even started because my son instantly felt there was no way he could see himself going there! </p>

<p>We did all of those schools in two days but we only actually did the tours at Pomona and Pitzer at the Claremonts. If you really read about the Claremonts, I’m sure you’ll see they are pretty different and you can whittle your tour list down to two while still getting a very good idea of what the entire campus looks and feels like. I think visitng UCLA, Clarement and Oxy will give you a great feeling for the size your daughter wants since the Claremonts give you a nice “middle sized” feel. I’d highly recommend that tour because my daughter was SURE she wanted large and that Berkeley and UCLA were her top choices but even after getting into both, she choose Oxy. She just loved the small school vibe but never thought she would until we visited.</p>

<p>A number of years ago, we visited Chapman and Claremont McKenna one day (one morning and one afternoon). We then spent the night so place…don’t remember where…and drove to Pepperdine for a tour the following day. </p>

<p>If we could see those three, you should be able to see UCLA, Claremont, and Oxy in two days.</p>

<p>I did Pomona in the morning and UCLA in the afternoon. So just one Claremont school is ok but not all of them. I just want to make sure we leave Pomona before the rush hour traffic.</p>

<p>Have you checked basic suitability parameters like academic offerings of the student’s interest and cost issues (e.g. net price calculator for each school)? If a school fails basic suitability tests, then it can be eliminated from the visit list.</p>



<p>I agree with this. We attended a presentation by all 5 Claremonts in which they made it clear that they value their differences; in fact, one of the reps said that she would think it was pretty strange if one kid was interested in all 5. </p>

<p>When we visited, we toured Scripps and Pitzer in one day (one morning tour, one afternoon, plus info sessions), then drove out to Pasadena and spent the night, then toured Occidental the next morning. That was very doable. You might be able to fit in a UCLA tour in the afternoon – but I’d be worried about traffic. You might want to make it 3 days in order not to completely burn out.</p>

<p>As for where to fly in and out of, if you’re flying in from another part of California (right?), then the Ontario airport which is 10 minutes from Claremont may be the best choice. We found that airfare from SFO to Ontario was about 1/3 of that between SFO and either Burbank or LAX, and there are several regular flights per day. With it being a smaller airport, the lines were shorter as well.</p>

<p>Ontario definitely not busy, lots of cheap fares.</p>

<p>We looked all three of those schools last October. Flew in the night before to LAX and stayed at a hotel near Occidental. Next day my DD had tour and interviews at first Oxy and then Pitzer. Following day
we did UCLA and flew out of LAX. We based our airport choice on airfares and also rental car rates, which vary
according to airport. Fast forward to this school year and DD is a very happy freshman at Oxy. </p>

I live in Los Angeles. I’ve been on all campuses fairly often since kids may have certain events at all campuses, and I attended UCLA.</p>

<p>UCLA, Oxy, and Claremont colleges are spread out from west to east along a line. It’s about 60 miles from UCLA to Claremonts. I would probably do all Claremonts in 1 day (since you may be visiting more than 1 college) and UCLA and Oxy in 1 day. It’s much cheaper to stay near Oxy or Claremonts for your overnight than UCLA, which is expensive.</p>

<p>Option 1:
Day 1: UCLA, Oxy, stay near Eagle rock or near Claremont
Day 2: Claremonts, fly out of Ontario airport</p>

<p>Option 2:
Day 1: Claremonts, stay near Eaglerock (or Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank)
Day2: Oxy, then UCLA, fly out of LAX or Burbank (Bob Hope) airport</p>

<p>As a general rule, traffic is bad westbound in AM rushhour (6:30 - 9:30) and eastbound in PM rushhour (2:30 - 7:30)
Yes, Oxy and Claremonts will be similar as LACs.</p>

<p>Disneyland is south of all 3. (45 min from Claremonts, 1 hr from UCLA) After you visit Disneyland, then drive up to the Claremont (Option 2) or UCLA (Option 1, expensive, but commute into UCLA is bad) to spend the night before your first college tour in the morning. UCLA tour might be the hardest to book. If you can’t book them all in 1 travel line, you still can zig zag and go out of order. Just remember the traffic rules above when booking hotels and tours. If you are not from LA, you will be startled at the traffic if you are on the busy side of traffic. Also, as a non-native, this may seem like a lot of driving. However, I drive these distances in 2 days often. Just get a book on CD and settle in. Also, google maps has a “traffic” section that you turn on and you can see the amount of traffic on each freeway which you should ALWAYS glance at before embarking on the road in LA. (In fact, look on google traffic now, when booking your hotels.</p>

<p>Last thing. it’s easier to fly into and out of Ontario, Burbank, and Orange County Airport because they are less congested (and tiny, usually 1 or 2 terminals). However, there are often not direct flights into or out of these airports.</p>

<p>Thank you all for your help and your tips on making better thread titles!</p>

<p>This is all new to me as she’s my oldest. We are not too stressed because we can always visit again. We are in N.Cal so not too difficult to make a return trip. </p>

<p>For now, she’s taken Occidental off and added Chapman. So, I think we’ll visit Chapman in the morning and then the Claremonts in the afternoon. Then UCLA the next day. We are flying out of SNA late that evening. </p>

<p>We planned on doing a SoCal trip over the summer. But it was so overwhelming to plan the driving, that instead we flew to Boston to look at schools there. Boston public transportation was super easy!</p>

<p>She really has no idea what we wants so we are visiting all types- large, medium, small. From what we saw in Boston, she is leaning towards mid-sized. </p>

<p>Thanks again!</p>

<p>If your schedule is
Day 1: Chapman, Claremonts
Day 2: UCLA
Then where you stay would depend on the time of your UCLA tour. </p>

<p>If your UCLA tour is 9 am, you definitely need to spend night 1 near UCLA/West LA/Santa Monica/Culver City or the traffic will kill you.
If your UCLA tour is 10 am, you could theoretically stay in Claremont, but commute into UCLA would plan for 2.5 hours (more like 2, but adding .5 for buffer) which could stress you out.
If your UCLA tour is 1 pm then you can spend night 1 either in Claremont or near UCLA/West LA/Santa Monica/Culver City</p>

<p>But if it were me, I would spend night 1 near UCLA/West LA/Santa Monica/Culver City to avoid stress. Traffic is bad in this area in AM, so still plan lots of time to get from West LA/Santa Monica (say 1 hour?) just in case.</p>

<p>You can visit 3rd street promenade in SM or the pier in SM after your UCLA tour.</p>

<p>UCLA to SNA (OC airport) with no traffic is 1 hr</p>

<p>I think the plan to do UCLA the second day and fly back from SNA is better. Because hotels are much cheaper and nice near SNA. SNA is more relaxing, LAX is not</p>