Rich families are paying up to a year's tuition at a time to do college tours by private jet

Tristan Fewings/Getty ImagesRich kids are touring colleges via luxury jet services.

  • Luxury jet services are flying wealthy high school students and their families around the US to tour potential colleges, according to The New York Times.
  • The services can cost as much as $US60,000 – nearly three times the price of in-state public college tuition for a year.
  • Such a pricey college tour could add more to the $US1.7 million rich families are already spending to get their kids into an elite college.

College tours have reached a new level – literally and figuratively.

Luxury jet services are flying wealthy high school students and their families around the US on college tours, complete with a college admissions counselor on board, according to The New York Times.

The services cost as much as $US60,000, reports The Times – that’s nearly three times the price of in-state public college tuition for a year, and not much more than the $US46,950 average annual sticker price for private colleges in the US.

Private jet chartering company XOJET is offering a bundled $US30,000 round-trip package to big college cities like Atlanta, Boston, and New York, but it can cost up to six figures if families visit more than one hub. They partnered with luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental to provide a one-bedroom suite and college counselor consultation as well.

For $US57,000, rival Magellan Jets offers 10 hours of flight time and cabin customisation, plus admissions experts at an extra cost, all while getting families to as many as three colleges in a single day. The company has had an iteration of this service on offer since at least 2015, as reported by Forbes, but prices have increased.

College tours for people with ‘more money than free time’

The price points may sound steep, but for families with the means to afford it, the costs are apparently worth it.

Not only does it help them make the most of their time, according to The Times, it also provides prospective students with materials and tips for their visit as well as personalised networking. Some jet services even help move the student in at the start of the semester, for an added fee, of course.

“Travelling on private jets is costly, but it may be the most efficient way to tour colleges,” writes reporter Paul Sullivan, citing James Henderson, president of commercial operations at XOJET. “It is worth it to people who have more money than free time and no desire to pack into the family car for an interminable drive.”

This high-flying college tour could add more to what rich families already spend to get their kids into an elite college – an eye-popping $US1.7 million, according to a previous analysis by Town & Country. And that cost begins way before college tuition payments; the analysis began with $US4,500 for a pre-school admission coach and $US80,400 for nursery school and pre-kindergarten at Horace Mann School in NYC.

By the time the child nears college, families add $US100,000 for college prep and $US55,000 for a gap year with Winterline, according to the analysis. Tack on $US282,280 for four years at Yale University – or any other comparable Ivy League – and $US24,304 for study abroad. And none of that is counting the price for a college tour via luxury jet.

As Sullivan puts it: “For wealthy families, nothing is too expensive to get their children into the best school.”

Read the full New York Times story ยป

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