Planning an NYC College Tour:
5 Colleges in 5 Days

Are you a high school student aspiring to attend one of New York’s prestigious universities? Planning a college visit can be an exciting step towards achieving your academic dreams.


At The Admissions Angle, we encourage students to tour their top schools. It’s an integral part of the process of selecting a school, and not to mention it could improve your chances of being admitted. This article will provide essential information about five prominent New York City institutions: Columbia University, New York University (NYU), Fordham University, Pace University, and Hunter College. Additionally, we’ll guide you through a five-day itinerary, offering suggestions for proximity-based college visits, dining options, and tourist activities that will give you an idea of what life in the Big City could look like.

Why Consider New York City for College?

New York City, the city that never sleeps, holds an undeniable allure for students seeking a unique college experience. The city’s vibrant culture, diverse population, and unmatched professional opportunities make it an ideal location for ambitious young minds. In this bustling metropolis, you’ll find a convergence of art, business, science, and culture, creating an environment that fosters innovation, exploration, and endless possibilities. The Big Apple has something to offer everyone, regardless of educational and career trajectory, which makes it an excellent destination for higher education. So, let’s dive into the details of these institutions and help you plan your college visits in the city that never stops.

  • Location: Morningside Heights, Manhattan
  • Size: 9,001 undergraduates 
  • Acceptance Rate: 5.3%
  • Known For: Renowned for its rigorous academic programs, particularly in social sciences, humanities, and engineering.
  • Why Consider Columbia: Columbia offers a prestigious Ivy League education in a vibrant, diverse city, providing students with unparalleled academic and career opportunities.
  • What to Look Forward to On Your Tour: Located at the center of Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus, the Low Memorial Library is an iconic symbol of the university. It’s a beautiful neoclassical building with a stunning rotunda, making it the perfect spot for a photo opportunity. Visitors can explore its architecture and rich history as it was the first library on campus and now serves as an administrative building. The library’s grandeur represents Columbia’s commitment to academic excellence. 
    • Location: Greenwich Village, Manhattan
    • Size: 26,613 undergraduates 
    • Acceptance Rate: 16.2%
    • Known For: NYU excels in the arts, media, business, and social sciences, offering students a global perspective and a strong sense of community.
    • Why Consider NYU: NYU’s location in the heart of Manhattan fosters innovation, creativity, and cultural exposure, making it an ideal choice for those seeking an urban college experience.
    • What to Look Forward to On Your Tour: NYU’s campus is in the heart of Greenwich Village, and at the core of this bustling neighborhood is Washington Square Park. It’s a central gathering spot for students, artists, and locals. Visitors to NYU can relax in the park, people-watch, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. It’s a great place to get a sense of the community and culture that surrounds NYU.
  • Location: The Bronx, Manhattan, and Westchester
  • Size: 10,098 undergraduates 
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Known For: Fordham is renowned for its strong liberal arts education, business programs, and pre-law courses.
  • Why Consider Fordham: The university’s Jesuit tradition promotes social responsibility, ethical leadership, and a close-knit community, providing a well-rounded education.
  • What to Look Forward to On Your Tour: When touring Fordham University, we recommend stopping at Keating Hall. With its stunning Gothic architecture, Keating Hall is an iconic building at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus in the Bronx. Visitors should explore its interior, which features a grand hall with ornate details. It’s architecturally impressive and significant as the heart of academic and social life at Fordham. And for students who prefer the city, the Lincoln Center campus offers the same great education with a totally different vibe. 
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  • Location: Manhattan and Westchester
  • Size: 8,223 undergraduates 
  • Acceptance Rate:  83%
  • Known For: Pace is recognized for its strong business, performing arts, and computer science programs.
  • Why Consider Pace: With a strong focus on experiential learning and close ties to industry, Pace offers a unique, career-oriented education.
  • What to Look Forward to On Your Tour: One Pace Plaza is the main academic building at Pace University’s New York City campus. It’s a modern, glass-fronted structure that symbolizes the university’s commitment to innovation and career-focused education. It’s not just a building; it’s a hub of activity and a representation of Pace’s forward-thinking approach to learning.
  • Location: Manhattan (Upper East Side)
  • Size: 17,256 undergraduates 
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Known For: Hunter excels in various liberal arts, health sciences, and public affairs programs.
  • Why Consider Hunter: Located in a vibrant neighborhood, Hunter provides a quality education, a diverse student body, and access to numerous cultural resources
  • What to Look Forward to On Your Tour: Thomas Hunter Hall, located on Hunter College’s Upper East Side campus, is an architectural gem with its elegant Beaux-Arts design. The building houses the main library, which students find to be a quiet and inspiring study place. Visitors can appreciate the historic beauty of this iconic Hunter building while exploring its rich academic resources.

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Touring Top Schools in NYC's in Five Days

Now that you’ve got a glimpse of these five institutions, let’s talk college tour trip!

Day 1: Columbia University

  • Travel: If flying into the city, we recommend LaGuardia. It is the closest to the city, and airfare is reasonable compared to the other airports. 
  • Lunch: Grab lunch on campus at John Jay Dining Hall before heading to your tour. 
  • Afternoon: Columbia’s tours are offered Monday through Friday at 12:00, 2:00, and 4:00 p.m. (but be sure to check their site for the most current information). 
  • Dinner: Enjoy the melting pot that is NYC and dine at Massawa, an Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurant.

Day 2: Hunter & NYU

  • Morning: Take the Metro, just six minutes from the Aloft Harlem, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a morning of history and art. 
  • Lunch: Grab a hotdog from The New York Hot Dog King, conveniently located in front of The Met. 
  • First Tour of the Afternoon: Head down to NYU, which offers earlier tours starting at 10:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 2:30, depending on the day (and currently, they do not offer tours on Tuesdays). 
  • Second Tour of the Afternoon: Grab a quick bite and some caffeine at La Colombe before heading toward Hunter. Tours are offered at 10:00, 1:00, and 3:00, depending on the day, so schedule your tour before you go. Subway stations are located near both of these destinations. 
  • Dinner: Dine at the “secret” Bar Centrale, a cozy spot in an iconic Brownstone. 
  • Evening: Catch a Broadway show while you’re near Midtown. 

Day 3: Pace University

Day 4: Fordham University 

Day 5: Exploration & Departure

An important note: colleges require a reservation for tours, and tours can fill up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time so your college tour trip doesn’t just become a vacation to the big city. 

While you explore these institutions and experience the vibrant city, keep in mind that each college offers a unique environment and academic experience. Consider your interests, academic goals, and preferred campus culture when deciding.

Now that you have a comprehensive plan for your college visits to these prestigious New York City schools, you’re ready to embark on your journey to your dream college. Make the most of your time in the city, and best of luck with your future endeavors!

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