frequently asked questions


​Q:  How long has the tour director organized travel and tours?

  • ​Remi Montgomery, the tour director, has single-handedly organized group travel and tours since 1999 as a freshman at her alma mater, Cass Technical High School.  For years she ran her business, focused on leisure travel.  Four years ago, she was motivated to make a difference and made the decision to focus primarily on uplifting the youth in her community through travel and education.  Thus, First Rate HBCU Tours was born.

Q:  How long do students have on each campus?

  • Each campus tour is conducted by an authorized representative of the HBCU we're visiting.  The campus touring time will vary depending on the size of the campus, number of questions students have, as well as the presentation that is provided by each institution.  Students should expect to spend at least two hours on each campus. 

Q:  Will students be able to tour the dormitories on campus?

  • For the safety of the students on campus, tours of the inside of the dormitories will not be allowed on this tour.

Q:  Will students have the opportunity to shop on campus or see sororities and fraternities?

  • Students will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs at the end of our campus tours.  As it relates to seeing sororities and fraternities, we typically connect with members of various organizations to create something special just for our students!  Further details about this will be communicated closer to departure.  

Q:  Will there be on-site admissions opportunities on the tour?  

  • We are currently working with school officials to confirm if there will be onsite admissions options available for our students while on tour.  Once confirmed, parents and students will be notified in advance to ensure that they are adequately prepared.

Q:  Are students able to visit local family/friends while on tour?

  • Family/friends are able to visit while we're at the hotel in the lobby.  The visit must remain on-site and must be completed before curfew.  No exceptions.  Visitors must have someone at least 21 years of age in the party for visitation.  Parents/guardians MUST provide prior written consent for this visit no less than three weeks prior to departure.  Visitation requests received after this time will not be authorized. 

Q:  Are there any seats left?  How will I know when all the seats are gone?

  • There are currently no seats available.  The website will state the seats are sold out and/or the payments option will not be available for deposits.

Q:  How soon can I register my student for the Tour?

  • Registration opens in August of every year.  Seats are EXTREMELY limited!

Q:  Are payments refundable?

  • The deposit is non-refundable. Any subsequent payments are refundable BEFORE January 14, 2018. No exceptions.

Q:  May I find a replacement in the event my student can no longer attend after I've paid?

  • Yes.  You may find a replacement for your student to facilitate reimbursement.  First Rate Tours is not responsible for locating a replacement for students who cancel.

Q:  How do I find out more information about the tour?

  • This FAQs Page is the quickest way to find out more about our tour.  An orientation was held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 for a more thorough overview.  You may also contact the Tour Director via email at hbcutour.firstrate@gmail.com or phone at 313.286.1686.

Q:  What does the cost per student cover?

  • Round-trip motor coach transportation, 6 night hotel stay, campus/landmark/memorial visits, two meals per day, tour t-shirt, amusement park admission, select attractions and group outings, and on-board refreshments (while supplies last). See flyer for exact inclusions.

Q:  Which two meals are included in the price?

  • Breakfast and Dinner.  Lunch is the responsibility of the student every day on tour.

Q:  Are there any days that breakfast/dinner are not provided?

  • ​Breakfast is provided every day on the tour except for our early morning return on April 8th.  Dinner is provided every day, except the day we're at the amusement park.

Q:  How many students are there to a room?

  • We have suites again this year and they are quint occupancy.  There will be five students to a suite.

Q:  Can students pick their own roommates?

  • Students are empowered to select their roommates.  In the event roommates are not selected or there is still room in a room, we will assign students to rooms based on extra-curricular activities, hobbies, educational interests, etc.

Q:  Do male and female students room together?

  • No.  Male and female students room separately and are prohibited from visiting one another in hotel rooms at any time.

Q:  How is behavior monitored at the hotel?

  • We have partnered with Student Watchers, a professional overnight hall security service.   Their job is to take posts throughout the halls of each hotel to ensure that students do not leave their designated area.  They also alert the tour leadership of excess noise coming from any particular suite in their assigned post location. If a student is found to be in the hall after curfew without permission for any reason, he/she will be subject to tour removal at his/her family's expense. No exceptions.  Additionally, chaperones conduct one announced room check and one random room check throughout the night to ensure students are in their designated areas at all times.

Q:  How do students report information in the event of inappropriate behavior, bullying, etc?

  • We use the "text to tell" system and it has worked very well for us!  Students are encouraged to notify their assigned chaperone or Tour Director of any activity that makes them uncomfortable, violates their civil liberties, or has the potential to disrupt the tour.  All text messages are kept confidential to ensure retaliation of any sort does not occur.

Q:  How many chaperones will be on tour?

  • Our student to chaperone ratio will be 10-15:1 or less.

Q:  Who will be chaperoning on tour?

  • Our chaperones are professionals in their field and are comprised of:  college/student advisors, high school counselors, student mediators, social workers, community leaders, and certified first aid/CPR assistants.

Q:  What time does the tour depart on April 1st?

  • The bus will depart at 7:30am.  Students should arrive for check-in no later than 6:30am.

Q:  Are parents allowed on the tour?

  • We are unable to accommodate parents on this tour.  If a parent is interested in becoming a chaperone on tour, he/she may submit an inquiry to the Tour Director at: hbcutour.firstrate@gmail.com for consideration.  The cost per chaperones is $279 and is payable in installments.

Q:  Will my student need spending money?

  • Yes.  Students should bring enough spending money for lunch (7days) and dinner (1night) during our visit to the amusement park.  If students would like to purchase souvenirs, college apparel, or participate in free-time activities not covered in the tour price, they should bring additional money.  It is recommended that students bring some of their spending money in the form of cash for emergencies.

Q:  Is my student on Spring Break during the time of this tour? (Spring Tour only)

  • Most public schools in Michigan are on break during the time of our 2018 tour.

Q:  This tour is not during my student's break--can they still attend? (Spring Tour only)

  • Absolutely!  We have a number of students who regularly participate in our tours even though they are not on break from school.  Because our tours serve as an important educational, cultural, and social experience many schools and parents are willing to allow their student to attend. We have a designated study/homework time to give students the ability to complete assignments while on tour.  We also provide students with an educational excuse in the event their school is not on break during the time of the tour.