Palm trees, sandy beaches, Hollywood glam—LA has it all! What more could a student want…well, they might like a fine establishment in which to study. Lucky for prospective scholars, LA is full of colleges with international acclaim. From UCLA to Mount Saint Mary’s—there’s a university for every student and every group. To begin your college tour by LA charter or shuttle bus you’ll want to poll your group of students’ interests. Then, you can organize a tour that caters to your students’ passions.
Decide on your group size
Maybe you’re organizing a tour for a specialized group like a debate team or LGBTQ+ club, maybe you’re putting together a big tour for a complete graduating class—large or small, any sized group can be accommodated by a Los Angeles student bus rental.
Groups of around 10
The minimum for most campus group tours is ten people so it’s a good goal to set when you start gathering participants. For a group this size, book either a minibus or a mini coach bus. The difference is that the mini coach bus can be equipped with air-conditioning and wifi. If you’ll be on the road for a while, it’s probably best to spring for A/C.
There are other options out there for folks who are planning to visit the campuses of their choice in small groups. A sprinter van is a type of passenger van that offers all of the amenities and comfort of bus travel, but in an even a smaller package than a minibus. Sitting 10 to 15 people, Bus.com even offers sprinter van rentals in Los Angeles that can be driven by a member of your group.
Medium sized groups
If you’re planning a tour for groups of 10 to 29, the mini coach bus is the way to go. They hold up to 32 passengers, which gives you a little extra room for chaperones. You may also want to consider booking a full coach bus if you’ll be traveling during exam time and need power outlets, audio-visual equipment, and wifi for on-the-go study sessions.
Big groups of 30+
Depending on the length of time you’ll be on the bus, we recommend booking an LA school bus or coach bush for your group. If you’re traveling with an entire graduating class, consider renting more than one bus. That way you can divide and conquer, giving students more choice.
Plan for Chaperones
When organizing transportation for minors, there’s a whole other step in the process: chaperone planning. Most colleges require chaperones for guided tours, as do most hotels. It’s also a good idea to have two adults on the bus to keep things from getting too wild. Teens can take care of themselves, but being away from home can get them a little too rowdy.
Decide on when to go
You can pick your time based on when your students have time off (Spring Break), but it’s best to select the schools you’d like to visit before you book your bus. Some schools have specific time frames in which they allow group tours. So be flexible with your departure date until you confirm your tour times.
Map out your itinerary
The best thing to do is have your students provide you with their top three schools they’d like to visit. Then plan your trip to hit the most popular schools. We recommend visiting about two schools per day and blocking out two to three days for the trip.
Schools to Visit
California State University-Los Angeles
Cal State LA is one of the 23 campuses that make up the California State University system. It’s known for its Chicano Studies Department, the first of its kind. It’s also a popular destination for students interested in business, education, nursing, and fine arts. Take a 15-minute bus ride to the University Hills neighborhood. Make sure you call to schedule your group tour.
Loyola Marymount University
The largest private Catholic university on the West Coast, Loyola Marymount is a popular choice for students looking for a spirited campus experience. Its Engineering and Entrepreneurship programs rank very well in US uni rankings, so put LM on your list of schools for future innovators. Group tours are offered for 10-15 students. If your group is more than that, split it into two. Loyola is an hour from downtown LA but just steps from the airport.
Otis College of Art and Design
If you’re visiting Loyola, add a tour of the Otis College of Art and Design. Otis is practically next door! Its fine arts program and modern campus draw students looking for practical experience in making art. Group tours are available upon request.
University of Southern California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
UCLA is mega-famous for so many reasons. Here are a few: UCLA has produced 14 Nobel Laureates and 13 MacArthur Fellows. Its basketball team (the Bruins) has taken home over 100 NCAA titles. It’s home to the Anderson School of Management AND the David Geffen School of Medicine. It’s a pretty big deal. Tours for groups of 10-100 people are offered, but need to be booked at least three months in advance. UCLA is an hour from downtown LA.
Mount Saint Mary’s University
A women’s college founded by nuns, Mount Saint Mary’s is a beautiful campus near Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park. MSMU’s top programs include nursing, sociology, pre-health, and biology, and it also offers evening and weekend college programs in business, social work, film, and more. Charter an LA bus rental for a 45 minute bus ride from downtown. Tours are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.
A Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), Woodbury University offers several programs to support Hispanic students and researchers. Spit into two campuses—the main campus in Burbank and the San Diego campus that houses the architecture school—Woodbury should be toured over two days. You’ll also want to see the WUHO art gallery that exhibits student work. To tour Burbank, charter a bus for a 30-minute ride. For a visit to San Diego, get comfy with a coach bus for a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride.
University of Southern California (USC)
USC’s University Park Campus is a classic movie-worthy campus. In fact, it’s been the set of a few blockbusters. But there’s a lot more to USC than its palm trees and architecture. First off, there’s a strong athletics department that’s produced more Olympic athletes than any other school in America. Star programs include: the Marshall School of Business, Rossier School of Education, and the Gould School of Law. 15 minutes from downtown LA, USC is easily accessible by charter bus.
Hot tip: The university also offers tours that focus on the campus’s art and architecture.
The Los Angeles Film School
For students with stars in their eyes, the Los Angeles Film School is well worth a visit. Of course, it’s located in Hollywood. The campus attracts A-listers lecturers that inspire the future filmmakers of America. Take a thirty minute charter bus ride from downtown LA, add a tour of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and make a day of Silver Screen enthusiasm.
Los Angeles City College
Lesser known but definitely worth the trip, LACC offers some very high quality vocational programs. The rad tech program (Radiography) is very popular and the dental technology program is number one in its field. The music department ain’t bad either! Located 20 minutes from downtown LA in Little Armenia, LACC is a great option for career-focused students. And it’s tuition is budget friendly.
Don’t forget the fun!
Choosing a college is a big decision, but your trip doesn’t have to be all campuses. You’re in California! Add a few LA must-sees to your trip to treat these grads-to-be. We recommend checking out the Santa Monica Pier, the Dolby Theatre, and Disneyland.