Planning a North Carolina College Trip?

I just recently returned from a whirlwind visit to colleges and universities in North Carolina, and while I don’t have time to give as detailed of a write-up about each individual school as my recent Boston and PA college trips, I did want to share some relevant information that could be helpful to those planning a trip to the area!

Planning and School Selection: There are so many schools in North Carolina that are actually quite popular among students in this area. Many people do not realize that parts of South Carolina are actually just outside Charlotte (NC), and would be very easy to tack onto a NC college tour. If I had the time, I would have tried to tack on a few of these as well. Here are some of my recommendations for maximizing visit time:

Raleigh area: It is very easy to see Duke and UNC on the same day- they are very close by and also attract a similar kind of student in terms of qualifications. NC State is a bit out of the way (south, in Raleigh proper) but could be substituted for either Duke or UNC. If you decide to see NC State, I would see that first, so you can stop at Duke and/or UNC while heading west to the Greensboro area.

Greensboro area: If coming from the Raleigh area, it is easy enough to head west and see Elon, Wake Forest, and High Point in relatively close succession. I don’t think that you can reasonably do three on the same day, but you can definitely do two on one day if starting early, and one the next morning. 

Charlotte area: If you decide to see all three Greensboro schools, it would make sense to drive down and hit Davidson in the afternoon after seeing the third school. If you pick two out of the three and want to reserve a whole day for Charlotte area schools, I would pick two from Davidson, UNC-Charlotte, and Belmont Abbey. 

Northern South Carolina: Furman and Wofford are two great liberal arts schools that are both located outside of Charlotte, and would have been a worthwhile add-on if I had more time. There are of course many other great stops in South Carolina if you are willing to really delve into the state, but these two are close enough to the NC border that I think they’d be worth the extra day for a student interested in small liberal arts colleges. 

Pick a Home Base: This is probably a personal preference, but I found it easier to stay at the same place and travel a little bit further each day than to switch hotels from night to night. I was actually very pleased with the Courtyard Marriott in Burlington, NC. It had been updated pretty recently and most importantly, I really liked the location. It was RIGHT off the highway (40) and there were a lot of restaurants nearby. Nothing particularly amazing, but a ton of choices that were right there and made quick breakfasts and dinners very easy. I would absolutely stay here again if visiting the same schools. If I spent more time in Charlotte/Northern SC, I would probably switch hotels for one night and stay somewhere down there. 

Other Hotel Options: If you decide that you would rather switch hotels each night for the convenience of staying in/near the college town, here are some other great suggestions. I have stayed at some of these myself, and others were highly recommended by other educational consultants while I was researching my trip:

UNC: Carolina Inn – if you stay in Chapel Hill, this is where you want to stay. TRUST ME!

Elon: Acorn Inn, right next to campus. Great option, although the Courtyard in Burlington is also very close to Elon. 

High Point: Courtyard Marriott – pretty standard Courtyard, very close to campus and also right next to a Target in case you need some road tripping supplies!

Davidson: Davidson Village Inn is supposed to be amazing, although I have never stayed there. The Cedars Davidson and the Homewood Suites (brand new!) were also very highly recommended. 

Wake Forest: Residence Inn Winston Salem – also pretty standard, but good and close to campus!

School Specific Info: Unfortunately, this is a crazy time of year for me and I don’t have time to do a full write up about each school. However, if you check out my facebook page, you can see pictures and initial thoughts from each place! Overall, I LOVED all of the schools I visited. There were a few surprises (High Point was completely over-the-top, and I also felt like the city of Winston-Salem left a bit to be desired), but every single one of those places would be a fabulous option for the right student. I can’t wait to share all of the details with my clients!

Posted on July 27, 2016 pm31 12:11 pm

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