During Presidents’ Day weekend in February, Stevenson’s College Center was thrilled to provide 18 juniors the opportunity to visit and explore colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to offering the popular Southern California college tour during the same weekend, which is offered each year, it has been many years since the College Center tours have traveled to this region of the country. The College Center was eager to offer a chance for students to explore colleges in an area where so many of our students apply. As is the case for all of Stevenson’s college tours, the goal for the PNW college tour was to provide students with a glimpse into the range and types of colleges and universities to which they might eventually apply. The PNW tour included visits to large, medium, small, urban, suburban, rural, secular, non-secular, public, and private institutions, in the hopes that students will gain even more clarity into their own academic and personal goals, in terms of planning for life after Stevenson. 

After flying from San Jose to Portland, Oregon early in the morning of February 15th, the group visited Lewis and Clark College, where they were greeted by a friendly admissions office and two proud Stevenson alumni: Abby Yamashita ’23 and Harrison Fung ’23. From there, they headed to tour Willamette University in Salem, where they chatted with another Stevenson alumnus: Augie Meier ’23. The following day, the students and chaperones visited the University of Oregon in Eugene andthen Oregon State University in Corvallis in order to get a sense of life at larger, public institutions. After arriving in Washington state the night before, on the final day of the 3-day college tour, the group woke early for a quick visit at Evergreen State College, before heading to the University of Puget Sound in Olympia, Washington. From there, they drove to Seattle University in downtown Seattle, and then traveled to their final institution: the University of Washington. While on a tour at UW, the students were greeted by more proud Stevenson alums: Jake Carlyle ’23 and Leo Xie ’23.

The College Center was thrilled to reinstate the PNW college tour, and they plan to continue exploring other regions of the country in the future where our students may consider applying to college. After months of planning, three days of travel, visiting eight institutions, walking 15 miles, and connecting with many proud Stevenson alumni, we can declare that the PNW college tour a resounding success!

Quote from a PNW college tour participant: 

“I am so grateful that Stevenson offered a PNW college tour trip, it was a great experience. I loved that we saw such a variety of schools: we saw small liberal art colleges, big state schools, public, private, a wide variety of campus sizes and offerings. I of course enjoyed being on campuses that I could see myself at, but I also found it helpful to know what I don’t like about certain schools. Additionally, it was great being with other Stevenson students and college counselors to share our thoughts and feelings about each school. It was also really helpful that recent Stevenson graduates would often have a meal with us, be on the tour, and share what their specific experience has been like transitioning from Stevenson to the college they attend now. Had this tour not been offered, I likely would not have even considered schools in the Pacific Northwest.” -Alexa Muchnick, Class of 2025

Following the success of the Southern California and Pacific Northwest college tours, during the first week of spring break, the College Center will take more than 30 students to the East Coast to explore colleges and universities in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. The College Center is excited to continue offering the popular East Coast college tour, which allows students who might not otherwise have the chance to explore a broad range of institutions on the other side of the country. In addition to touring more excellent institutions, visiting the East Coast, especially in March, gives Stevenson’s lucky California kids a sense of college life in late winter!

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