Many out-of-state colleges will help cover the costs of a visit so that you can see if the college is right for you. The best way to learn about visitation programs is to call the Admissions offices of the colleges you like and ask if they can help you visit! (Keep in mind that usually you need to be a strong student (at least a 3.0 GPA) to qualify for an out-of-state visitation program. Plane tickets are expensive, so colleges usually only subsidize students who have a good chance of getting admitted!) Many colleges don’t advertise this assistance—they wait for interested students to contact them. If you have a realistic chance of getting into the college and are interested, then it’s a great idea to see it in person!
This web site has a list of colleges fly-in programs from 2011. Although it has not been updated for 2012, most of the details will be similar. Just check the college Admissions Office web pages to learn updated information!
The Center for Student Opportunity, recommended for all students considering out-of-state colleges, maintains a great list of college visitation programs.
Several colleges from the Colleges That Change Lives list also provide visitation programs. These are excellent small, liberal arts colleges that are not quite as competitive as the really famous colleges. For many students, they are better than the bigger colleges, because you’ll get more attention from professors.