Once the group has been registered, a dedicated Close Up Representative will contact the trip coordinator and send brochures and posters to help them promote the program they have selected. We will also provide the coordinator with a school ID and password, allowing them to view their account, enroll participants, and access resources and tools online to help them recruit, plan, and fundraise for their program.
When are enrollment forms and fees due?
All enrollment forms must be submitted online by both students and teachers/adults. Anyone participating with a school or group will be provided with an individual participant ID and password by their trip coordinator, allowing them to access their account online and complete the enrollment form.
Anyone participating without a school or group can give us a call at 800-256-7387 or email us and we will provide them with their login information.
All enrollment forms should be completed at least 120 days before the start of program. Payment schedule, cancellation policies, and all deadlines are available through each participant’s account online.
Can a student enroll after the enrollment deadline?
Yes. Late enrollments are subject to availability and/or may incur additional fees. Any late enrollments should have full payment as outlined in the dates and deadlines for the specified program week.
Dates and deadlines for the program are available through the school and individual accounts. In the event space is not available, we will contact participants to provide the option to participate in another week or provide a full refund.
Is there a Close Up staff member available to help with planning?
Yes. Each school has the support of their own Close Up Representative throughout the entire planning process. Each representative is available to help schools in all phases of preparation for the program and is also able to travel to those communities if needed.
Who can participate in a program?
Students in grades 9-12 can participate in our high school programs. All customized programs depend on the grade levels determined by the trip coordinator. A minimum GPA or previous leadership experience is not required.
We welcome participation in our programs without regard to gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.
Our programs are physically and mentally demanding. Students should be able to participate for 10+ hours per day and be able to interact positively with peers, staff, and other people with whom they will have contact during the program.
Need a participant ID and password?
For anyone participating with a school or group, the trip coordinator will give them a participant ID and password to log in to their account. For anyone participating without a school, we are glad to have them with us!
Please call us at 800-256-7387 or email us and we’ll issue a participant ID and password which can be used to log in to the account in order to complete the enrollment form, make payments, and access resources for the program.
What are the responsibilities of an adult on program?
Close Up coordinates all travel, lodging, security, site visits, and activities for the trip. However, adult participants should be prepared to cover at least one meal a day. Our exciting Teacher Program runs parallel to our flagship high school student programs, so adults and their students can participate simultaneously. Educators and non-educators alike enjoy the opportunities available through our Teacher Program, including speakers, site visits, and free resources, all while experiencing the nation’s capital.
While adults are spending time on Teacher Program, Close Up will supervise their students on our student program. We’ll also supervise the students on out-of-town programmatic activities, including Williamsburg and New York City. Adults are there as our guests! If any adult prefers to observe the student program at any time throughout the trip, we are happy to accommodate them too (based on available bus space).
High school teachers will attend Capitol Hill Day with their students and supervise them during independent time. We encourage teachers/adults to participate in our feedback sessions and to complete the surveys to help us better serve each participant in the future.
What do teachers do on Close Up?
Our one-of-a-kind Teacher Program draws on the expertise of our many partner institutions which provide outstanding speakers, resources, and simulation designs to give teachers their very own Close Up experience!
Participants gain valuable knowledge to bring back to their classrooms as well as connections to educational resources in DC. Teachers can also earn CEUs or graduate credit through Colorado State University.
Can students leave the program to visit family, friends, or local colleges?
Yes. Students can visit family, friends, and local colleges during their independent time or before or after a program. Students must receive prior approval from their trip coordinator and program leader, as well as provide a signed permission slip from their parents.
Does Close Up offer financial aid or scholarships for students?
Close Up provides need-based tuition assistance based on family income guidelines and the total number of participants per school.
To find out more about Close Up’s financial aid program, please contact the school/group’s Close Up teacher or trip coordinator regarding eligibility and required forms.
Will students need their laptop or tablet during their program?
No, students will not need these for the program. We suggest leaving them at home.
CAPITOL HILL DAY
Does Close Up schedule appointments with members of Congress and their offices?
Yes, we schedule over 1,000 meetings per year and have regular contact with congressional schedulers. Our focus on Capitol Hill Day is to provide teachers/adults and students with an opportunity to directly interact with members of Congress and/or their staffs.
We will schedule meetings with the offices of both the states’ senators and with the house member from the home congressional district of the group. The schedule for Capitol Hill Day will be available upon arrival. We kindly ask that participants do not contact the offices directly regarding these meetings; however, feel free to contact Close Up Government Relations with any questions.
How can participants prepare for Capitol Hill Day?
In preparation for Capitol Hill Day, teachers and trip coordinators are encouraged to attend the in-depth Capitol Hill Workshop on Tuesday as part of the Teacher Program.
This workshop will cover all logistics of Capitol Hill Day and is recommended especially for first-time Close Up teachers. Prior to the program, teachers can help students prepare for Capitol Hill Day by learning more about the local congressional delegation, keeping up to date on current events, and utilizing Close Up’s sample lesson plans available on the school account page.
Should teachers attend Capitol Hill meetings with their students?
Yes, we strongly encourage this. While a staff member will almost always be present at meetings to help facilitate, these meetings are for teachers and their students. Interacting with a member’s office is a vital part of our program, and a great opportunity to ask questions and learn! Close Up will have a Capitol Hill Day orientation for all teachers to ensure they are prepared.
Are there security restrictions on Capitol Hill?
Yes. Security is extensive; the less each person carries, the easier it will be to get through the checkpoints. Government-issued ID is not required for entrance. All House and Senate office entrances have security checkpoints. Entrance into the Capitol and Capitol Visitor Center is more restrictive.
What are the Capitol Hill Day activities other than the congressional office meetings?
A day on the Hill is a window into democracy in action and the history of our nation, so there are many activities that can fill the time between scheduled meetings! Close Up will list the day’s committee hearings on the Capitol Hill schedule. Gallery passes can also be obtained from members’ offices in order to view the Senate or House in action. Tours of the Capitol and viewing of exhibits in the Capitol Visitor Center may also be available.
If time allows, it may be possible to visit the Library of Congress and Supreme Court. The Court is in session at various times throughout the year, so participants may actually observe oral argument! Check the Court’s docket for scheduled oral arguments. If the Court is in session, a summary of the cases will be included in the Hill Day Schedule.
Can a tour of the Capitol Building be arranged?
Yes. Staff-led tours can be arranged through the group’s congressional office, or a docent-led tour can be scheduled in advance through the Capitol Visitor Center. If a tour is arranged for the group, it is essential that Close Up Government Relations is notified as soon as possible so that we can schedule congressional meetings accordingly and provide any assistance the group may need.
Please note, while we do our best to work schedules around pre-planned Capitol tours, scheduling conflicts may arise with some of the meetings with members due to the complicated and often fluid nature of the legislative schedule.
Can a visit to the White House be arranged?
Yes. White House tours are arranged through a group’s local congressional office usually three months before the visit. Unfortunately, Close Up cannot schedule these tours on behalf of its participants. If possible, please schedule White House visits during times that do not conflict with the program schedule.
What is included in the student tuition?
Hotel accommodation, three meals per day during program, all in-town transportation, instruction, academic materials, meeting space, 24-hour supervision, night monitors, access to Georgetown University Children’s Medical Center, all entry fees, all tips/gratuities, group photo, certificate, souvenir, and secondary medical and liability insurance are included in the overall student tuition. Should a school choose Close Up’s transportation package, round-trip airfare and transportation to and from the airport in the Washington, DC, area is also included.
How can participants pay for the program?
Students should check with their teacher regarding payment instructions and school policies for payments. All payments can be made to the school or through the individual accounts online. Participants have the flexibility to set up payment plans through their account online. Payments made by electronic check are preferred, but we also accept credit/debit cards. Go to the Individual Account Login, enter the participant ID & password (provided by the teacher/trip coordinator), and follow the instructions. If payment is sent by personal check or money order, it must be made payable to Close Up Foundation and mailed with a payment coupon printed from the corresponding account to:
Regular, Overnight, or Express Mail:
Close Up Foundation
1330 Braddock Place, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
Important: All payments must have the participant ID written on the check and include a payment coupon from the participant’s account online.
School Districts: All checks must identify both the school’s registration ID (found on the payment coupon) and the participant ID numbers to which the payment(s) should be applied.
Can participants receive donations to their account?
Yes. Sponsors should visit our donation page and use the Close Up participant ID number of the person they wish to sponsor in order to contribute directly to that account or use a Close Up school ID number to contribute to a school/group account. Sponsors can pay online using a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Close Up is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and our tax ID number is 23-7122882.
Please consult a tax advisor to see if the contribution may be tax-deductible. Donations made to schools or individuals are non-refundable. For questions and additional information, please contact Mia Charity at email@example.com or call 800-CLOSEUP today.
How can participants print payment coupons?
Teachers can print payment coupons by going to Teacher: School Account, selecting ‘Manage Account,’ and clicking on ‘Print Payment Coupons.’ Individuals can print their own payment coupons by logging in to Individual Account Login, selecting ‘Make a Payment,’ and clicking on ‘Mail.’
Can schools pay using a purchase order?
Yes. Purchase orders from school districts must be signed and include the school’s name and school ID number. They can be mailed to Close Up’s Finance Department at: Close Up Foundation, 1330 Braddock Place, Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314. Please do not send checks to this address, as it may delay processing. Purchase orders can also be faxed to 571-481-2640.
How long does it take for payments to process and post online?
Online payments made by credit or debit card before 10:00 PM EST will be posted to the participant’s online account after 10:00 AM EST the next day. Electronic check payments take 7 business days to process and post to the participant’s account. Payments by mail generally take about 2 weeks to process from the date they are mailed.
When are payments due?
The dates and deadlines for each program can be reviewed through individual and school accounts online.
Are payments refundable?
Per Close Up’s terms and conditions, the initial deposit payment(s) to an account is non-refundable and non-transferable at the time of payment. Should a refund be requested prior to the 100% cancellation deadline, Close Up will refund any amounts paid over the initial deposit unless it is noted otherwise on that individual or school account “Dates and Deadlines” page. All dates and deadlines for the program and amounts due, including the 100% cancellation deadline, are available through the participant’s Close Up account online.
Will Close Up arrange transportation?
Yes. We offer round-trip group transportation from a designated departure point in each region to Washington, DC. We use all three DC metro airports: Washington Dulles (IAD), Reagan National (DCA), and Baltimore Washington International (BWI).
To take advantage of this, trip coordinators should choose the Close Up Group Transportation option when they enroll their school or group online. Whether the group will be traveling with us or on their own, we strongly urge participants to buy travel insurance from Travel Guard. Participants will elect to purchase travel insurance upon completion of their enrollment forms online.
What are the benefits of choosing Close Up transportation?
The Close Up travel package is designed to provide our customers peace of mind.
Close Up’s group transportation package includes:
Round-trip airfare using major U.S. airlines, ground transportation through Amtrak, or privately chartered motor coach buses to get everyone to and from the Close Up program.
Round-trip airport/train station transfers on private motor coach buses.
Close Up staffing at the airport or train station to meet participants upon arrival and facilitate the transfer to their assigned hotels. Return service on departure is also provided.
Close Up travel support. Our toll-free number is staffed by our transportation team during travel, and we monitor all arriving and departing flights throughout the day. If any problems arise (delays or weather) please call 800-336-3689 and we will work together in finding a solution.
Can one student travel independently or groups arrange their own transportation to DC?
Yes. The student must complete and submit an Independent Transportation Form and fax it to 571-481-2621. This form must be received by Close Up at least 120 days prior to the program start date. A late fee of $50 per participant is charged for late forms. No forms will be accepted later than 60 days before travel.
By choosing this option, however, the student must make his or her own airport transfer arrangements to and from the hotel. Groups choosing to make their own travel arrangements should indicate this option through the school account by selecting Independent Transportation on the ‘Confirm Price’ page.
All independent travel itineraries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 30 days prior to the start of the program so we can accurately plan for participants’ arrival.
How will participants get from the airport to the hotel?
Those who select our group transportation package will be greeted at the airport, escorted to a coach bus, and transferred to the hotel by Close Up staff. Those who choose to book their own travel will need to make arrangements to get to and from the hotel via taxi, airport shuttle, Metro, or other means.
Can groups arrive in Washington a day before the program starts or stay late?
Yes. The trip coordinator may select the Early Arrival or Late Departure options when enrolling their school or group online. These options can be selected through the ‘Confirm Price’ page in the school account.
Is identification needed to travel?
Adult passengers (18 and over) at the time of travel are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight. Please refer to www.tsa.gov for a list of acceptable identification.
Effective for travel beginning in 2016, the Department of Homeland Security will begin enforcing the Real ID Act for airline travel. For frequently asked questions regarding this new guideline, please visit www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.
All participants, including adults, must complete an enrollment form online. Date of birth is required for Close Up’s transportation department to secure tickets.
We encourage trip coordinators to monitor their school account online to ensure all participants have completed their enrollment forms.
If the participant’s identification is lost or forgotten, is it still possible to board a domestic flight?
Yes. It is possible for a passenger to board a domestic flight as long they are willing to provide additional information about themselves that will assist TSA in using multiple public databases to confirm a passenger’s identity. This process takes extra time, and a passenger may or may not be subject to additional security screening, so please be sure to allow plenty of time.
Can Close Up issue an airline ticket without a date of birth?
No. Close Up, like most tour operators, is required to include TSA-mandated Secure Flight information which includes: date of birth, gender, and the passenger’s full name when an airline ticket is purchased.
Are baggage fees included in the transportation package?
No. Baggage fees aren’t included in the package price. All travel-related fees are the sole responsibility of each passenger traveling and checking luggage. Please check the airline’s website for the most current and up-to-date information regarding fees.
What do participants need to know before travel?
For a complete list of travel requirements and suggestions, print and read the Travel Checklist before travel. Resources regarding what to wear and pack, a sample schedule, and more are also available through the participant’s account online.
Should participants buy travel insurance?
Yes. Close Up strongly recommends that each person purchase travel insurance through Travel Guard International, America’s #1 travel insurer. This will protect against delays, flight cancellations, and other travel-related issues, including illness that may prevent passengers from traveling. To assure the full promotion benefit of the policy, travel insurance should be purchased 15 days after the first payment is made.
A participant may elect to purchase Travel Guard coverage up to 48 hours before the trip begins, but coverage is limited. To purchase travel insurance from Travel Guard, please select “TOUR/AIR PACKAGE” in the Airline field and “CLOSE UP FOUNDATION” from the list of Tour Operators after selecting to purchase an insurance package.
When will a travel itinerary be available?
Customized flight itineraries will be available online through the individual or school account 45 days prior to the start of the program. Close Up staff will make transportation arrangements to ensure each group arrives and departs DC in time for all program-related activities. Information about any travel preferences can be entered through the school account online at the time of enrollment or by notifying the group’s Close Up Representative. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee any preferences due to the schedule and space restrictions of the airlines.
Will passengers earn frequent flyer mileage?
Frequent flyer miles can be accrued on most airline carriers. Those who wish to use a frequent flyer account should call their member airline to request frequent flyer credit. Unfortunately, Close Up cannot add frequent flyer account information to our flight records.
Can frequent flyer mileage be used to purchase an airline ticket or to upgrade?
No. Our airline contracts do not allow our group tickets to be purchased or upgraded using mileage. If a passenger prefers to use mileage for an airline ticket, they can elect to travel independently from the group. Please see our independent travel conditions under our transportation FAQs.
Does everyone in a group have to travel together?
Not necessarily. Close Up may be able to arrange alternate travel arrangements for one or more participants if they are unable to travel with their school. The cost to arrange a flight deviation from the group is $50 plus any additional airline fees associated with the request. Participants who require a flight deviation for an unaccompanied minor would incur a $275 fee for each direction. This includes fees imposed by the airline, Close Up transportation staff costs, and ground transfers in DC. The age requirements and information required to travel as an unaccompanied minor vary by airline and additional information may be required by Close Up Transportation staff. Please contact the school’s Close Up Representative for additional information.
Where do participants stay during their program?
We use national hotel chains such as Marriott, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn. Participants stay in convenient, quality hotels located in the DC metro area. Each hotel is carefully inspected to be of the highest quality possible at an affordable price. Our ability to secure hotels close to the city and/or DC Metro system allows for more time learning and less time commuting.
When will the hotel information be available?
Hotel information is available through individual and school accounts online 45 days before the program start. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee any preferences due to the schedule and/or space restrictions of the hotels.
How are students housed during the week?
Students are housed four to a room. Each room has two double beds. On our high school program, each student chooses one roommate from his/her school. Another pair of students from a different community will be assigned to the room at random upon check-in. In the event a school brings an odd number of participants, the participant without a roommate from his/her own school will be placed in a room with up to three other students that may be from a different school or community. However, they will be placed in the same workshop and bus as many of their classmates. Teachers should assign roommates through the school account online under the tab Assign Student Roommates, 45 days prior to the start of program.
Close Up’s proven methodology indicates that mixing students in their roommate assignments and during program activities helps to enhance “an understanding of pluralism in the United States and helps to develop civic skills and attitudes.” The diversity of the program also allows the students to learn formally and informally from other students across the country.
For all customized programs, a Close Up Representative will contact participants regarding preferences and any roommate blocking.
How are adults housed during the week?
Adults are housed two to a room. Adult rooms may be located on the same floor as student rooms. Each room has two double beds. Adults may indicate roommate choices on their enrollment forms. Adults may also request a private room for an additional charge. All private room requests are subject to availability, and full payment must be provided at the time of a request. Private rooms not paid in full prior to participation will not be booked or subject to additional fees upon check-in.
What time will hotel rooms be ready?
Although hotel check-in times typically range from 3:00 to 4:00 pm, Close Up rooms are ready by 6:00 pm. This helps to ensure that our student rooms are blocked close to each other, improves the safety of participants at night, and creates a more enjoyable environment for all hotel guests. We work closely with our hotels to ensure rooms are ready by the start of the program but occasionally, due to circumstances outside of our control, room keys may be delivered after the listed check-in time.
What are the required medical forms for participants on a program?
Participant’s health insurance card or a copy of the front and back.
What if someone gets sick on a program?
Close Up partners with several leading health care providers, including Georgetown University Children’s Medical Center (GUCMC) to ensure that students have access to quality health care should they get sick while on program. There are 911 emergency services available around the clock — from when our program starts until it ends. Fortunately, our program activities and the hotel’s students are housed close to a number of excellent hospitals. Thus, help is usually not far away.
For a non-911 situation, typically we will be in contact with a triage nurse at GUCMC to determine what course of action to take. In some cases, we will transport the student to GUCMC for diagnosis and treatment. Their hours are Mon-Thurs 8AM-7PM, Friday 8AM-6PM, and Saturday 9AM to noon. If treatment is required outside these hours, GUCMC maintains a pediatric doctor on-call who will assist and make appropriate referrals. In other cases, a student might simply drink fluids and rest in her or his hotel room under the periodic supervision of Close Up staff.
As an added precaution, Close Up program staff is trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid. We also maintain a dedicated staffer on each program to assist students who are ill. Typically, this assistance includes accompanying them when they’re taken for medical treatment, waiting with them at the facility while they’re being treated, and accompanying them back to the hotel. Close Up, along with the trip coordinator, will work together to ensure that students get timely access to quality health care should the need arise while on a program. We have dedicated staff members to stay with any students that are not able to participate.
Does Close Up staff receive any medical training?
Yes. Our program staff is trained in CPR, AED, and First Aid.
Will students have to pay a co-pay for visits?
The amount of the co-pay depends on the participant’s primary insurance carrier. If the student doesn’t have money for the co-pay at time of service, Georgetown will bill the responsible party.
Will Close Up’s secondary insurance cover medical bills?
Participants can apply for reimbursement through Close Up’s secondary insurance after using any travel insurance benefits and the participant’s primary insurance. Just like many other insurance policies, our secondary insurance has a $100 deductible for which participants are liable if they use this insurance while on a program.
What if a participant doesn’t have health insurance?
We recommend that all participants purchase travel insurance that has medical coverage. To purchase travel insurance or to receive additional information, please contact Travel Guard or call 800-826-1300. Our secondary insurance may also reimburse any paid, qualified expenses after the deductible. Questions or requests for students with special medical needs can be discussed with Sharon Hunter at 800-256-7387, ext. 3499. Although we defray some of the costs, students who require specialized assistance such as health techs or sign language interpretation may incur additional charges.
What if a participant has special medical needs?
Anyone with questions or requests for students with special medical needs should contact Sharon Hunter at 800-256-7387, ext. 3499. Please note that Close Up program staff is not responsible to assist with wheelchairs or medical equipment, or available to administer medication.
Although we work to mitigate any costs associated with medical needs, students who require specialized assistance, such as health technicians or sign language interpretation, may incur additional charges.
What if a participant has dietary restrictions?
Close Up provides students with three hearty meals a day starting with dinner the first night of program. We have adopted a nut-free policy for our hotel meals and sit-down dinners. Voucher meals all include nut-free options. We also provide vegetarian options at each meal. If a participant requires any accommodations at meals due to medical or religious reasons, please contact our Program Services staff. Additional fees may be incurred for any special arrangements.
Should participants bring their own prescription medicine?
Yes. Participants need to bring an adequate supply of medication and will be responsible for self-medicating while on a program. Please notify us in advance if any medication needs to be refrigerated. Additional charges up to $60 may be incurred for hotel refrigerator use or rental.
Should participants bring their own over-the-counter medicine?
Yes. Participants should bring an adequate supply of medication. We are not able to provide medications.