PSJA Providing Free College Tours to Ivy League Universities


Photo Courtesy of Alexis Barrios

Senior Alexis Barrios tours MIT as part of the PSJA ISD Summer Ivy League Tour Program.

Vanessa Diaz, Writer

Attending an Ivy League school may seem intimidating and maybe even a miracle for students that get accepted. The PSJA Ivy League & University Summer Tour Program helps underclassmen explore these ‘miracle’ schools and provide access to them.

Throughout the summer, freshmen and sophomores can  attend one of three student tours to gain a better knowledge of what an Ivy League school is like. Applications are now open and can be found on

One should not be discouraged to miss this opportunity because all expenses for the summer tours are covered for PSJA ISD students.

“This tour is unbelievably advantageous for students from our area because some students rarely get a chance to travel outside the valley or even state, for free. This program helps close the gap between the have and have nots. Students are able to
see the caliber that these Ivy League schools are looking for. This trip prepares the families to grow a college-going culture and let students leave to college without fear,” financial aid advisor, Erica Ramos said.

The first tour will take PSJA ISD students to Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Brown University through June 25-28, 2019. Students that attend this tour will fly to the Northeast and be exposed to the majors and degree programs that can be obtained through these universities.

“I went on this tour in 2017 and I highly recommend it because we were able to not only see the campuses, but also go on tours within the city. We went on a boat ride on the Charles River and shopping at a nice farmer’s market outside MIT, the college culture
was definitely my favorite part,” senior Alexis Barrios said.

Running from July 7-11, 2019, the second tour will take students to George Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. This tour will have a larger focus on the biology and medical field, while having hands-on
activities, living on-campus, and sight seeing surrounding the campus. Students with a larger focus on computer science or cyber security should attend the last tour of the summer, which takes place at the University of Maryland and also at
Washington University. This student tour will take place on July 23-26, 2019. Students can see the many different organizations that make these campuses stand out.

“I was interested in the schools so I applied in 2018 and I loved it. We visited Maryland’s athletic program where Michael Phelps has swam at and visited the White House and other Washington D.C. monuments. At the campuses they gave us a lot of
information about minority assistance at their campuses and I was able to meet nice people from across the valley through this tour,” junior Gianna Salinas said.

To attend these Ivy League and University summer tours, students must apply before the deadline, Sunday, April 16, 2019. This application is open to all current 9th and 10th graders within PSJA ISD. For more information on how to apply please visit the
PSJAISD Facebook page or