Empowering Youth Through Education

Students Get an Inside Look at Inland Empire Colleges and Universities

29 students, 3 days, 7 colleges, 6 dining halls, and a whole new perspective on higher education.

A cohort of Fulfillment Fund high school juniors recently got a glimpse of their futures on the Fulfillment Fund’s annual three-day tour of Inland Empire colleges and universities. 

Students had the chance to hear from admissions officers and could ask them anything, ranging from “Do you have need-blind admissions?” to “Do you allow students to create their own majors?”

Elsie, a junior at Gertz-Ressler High School, has two older siblings already in college and knows her parents will not be able to contribute any money to her college education. “When the Claremont McKenna admissions representative said that they are need-blind and would cover all tuition costs even if your EFC (expected family contribution) is zero dollars, tears came out of my eyes,” she said. “I’ve been dreaming of visiting Claremont McKenna for three years, and it felt great to finally see it. The campus felt welcoming, and I can totally see myself here. I’m definitely applying!”

96% of students who attended the trip reported having a better understanding of financial aid options as a result.

At every college visited, Fulfillment Fund students had a question-and-answer session with a pane of current college students. Additionally, Fulfillment Fund students had the opportunity to see college dorm rooms for the first time and eat in dining halls, allowing them to get a better idea of what college life really is.  

“Having the opportunity to physically visit the colleges made a difference in changing my mind about applying to some of the schools because I was able to know if the college fit me well or not," Gertz-Ressler High School junior Vanessa said. Before the trip, Vanessa thought it was very unlikely she would apply to any of the seven schools she visited, but now says it is very likely she will apply to Claremont McKenna, Scripps and Pitzer College. 

"I hadn't heard of any of these schools before, but I'm definitely applying to all of them!” said Gil, a Hamilton High School junior, after visiting the five Claremont schools. “Everyone just seems so welcoming and flexible.”

100% of students who attended the trip reported knowing a lot more about colleges in the Inland Empire because of this trip, and 96% reported feeling much more excited about going to college than they felt before the trip.