Fall College Retreat FAQs

Click here to download the Fall College Retreat PDF.


When should I arrive?

You should arrive on Friday, November 10, for check-in at the Reagan Ranch Center, 217 State Street in Santa Barbara, between 10:00 a.m. and 11:40 a.m.  The student conference starts at 12:00 p.m. on Friday.  You will have time to check in to your hotel between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Friday.  If you are not present at the 12:00 pm session on Friday, you will not be permitted to attend the conference.


What time does the conference end?

The conference ends at about 8:30 pm on Saturday, November 11. You will check out of your room on Sunday morning, unless you plan to leave earlier. If you do not need a hotel Saturday night, please email Jolie at jballantyne@yaf.org.


What does the conference fee include?

The conference fee includes Friday and Saturday night at a Santa Barbara hotel, conference tuition including transportation to and a tour of the Reagan Ranch, conference materials, dinner Friday, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday.


Is travel assistance available?

While travel assistance is never guaranteed, Young America’s Foundation will gladly consider all completed requests.

Travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to travel@yaf.org that includes:

  • Language regarding your financial need
  • What you hope to gain by attending the conference
  • Your travel plans
  • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are 
requesting. (For example, Expected travel costs from IAD to SBA $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.) 
We will not consider your request until we receive a completed request.


What are the activities during the conference?

The event opens with speakers on Friday afternoon, followed by a reception and a dinner banquet that evening.  Saturday’s sessions include speakers at the Reagan Ranch Center, a tour of the Reagan Ranch, a barbeque at the Ranch, and a dinner at the center.


Will I have free time during the conference?

No.  If you wish to tour Santa Barbara, please make your own plans to arrive on Thursday night or stay Sunday.   Young America’s Foundation only covers your hotel room on Friday and Saturday nights.


What are the hotel arrangements on Friday and Saturday night?

You will be rooming with another person of the same sex.  We cannot guarantee your requested roommates, but we will do our best to accommodate your preferences.  If you live in Santa Barbara County, you will not be given a hotel room on Friday or Saturday night.


How many students are expected at this conference?

140 students are expected to attend the conference from around the country.   About 75 of Young America’s Foundation’s supporters will also participate in the sessions along with you.


What is the atmosphere like at the conference?

The atmosphere of this conference is similar to a normal college or university.   As such, there may be drinking or smoking by those obeying all applicable local and hotel regulations.  Those not obeying the law will be prosecuted by local police and subject to removal from the conference at their own expense.


Which airport do I fly to?

You should fly to Santa Barbara – SBA if possible, or you can arrive at Los Angeles International Airport – LAX and take a bus to Santa Barbara through the Santa Barbara Airbus.  Please note that LAX is more than 2 hours away.


How will I get to and from the airport and the conference?

There are ground transportation options available from the Santa Barbara airport including taxis, airport buses, and rental vehicles.  Young America’s Foundation does not provide airport shuttles.


Can I take the bus?

Yes, Greyhound has buses to downtown Santa Barbara.


Can I take the train?

Yes, Amtrak runs trains through Santa Barbara on the Pacific Surfliner route.  The train station is located adjacent to the Reagan Ranch Center and is very convenient.


What is the dress for this conference?

Dress for the Friday afternoon sessions is business casual.  This means slacks, collared shirt and tie for the gentlemen and skirts or slacks and a blouse for the ladies. Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not acceptable attire.  You may change once you arrive at the Reagan Ranch Center.

Dress for the Friday and Saturday evening reception and banquet will be business professional.  This means a suit for the gentlemen and a suit or dress for the ladies. Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are not acceptable attire.

Dress for Saturday’s daytime sessions is casual but respectful.  You will go straight to the Ranch from morning sessions and will not have time to change.  Please wear comfortable shoes (no heels for ladies) and bring a jacket as it tends to get cold up on the mountain.  Jeans are acceptable as long as there are no holes or tears.

***The Reagan Ranch Center is about a 10-minute walk from the hotels, so ladies who wear high heels may want to consider wearing commuter-friendly shoes for the walks on Friday and then slipping into heels upon arriving at the Center.***


What are the terms and conditions of the conference? 

  1. a) I understand that I am applying for a limited amount of space at this conference and that my application is subject to confirmation.  I will be notified within two weeks of submitting my application whether I have been accepted to the conference.  In the event I have not been accepted, my charge will be refunded by a check mailed to the address provided when I registered.
  2. b) I must attend all sessions of Fall Conference at the Reagan Ranch. If I do not attend all functions, I will be charged the full cost of the conference and/or event(s), including the hotel, food, and conference costs, which total $2,000 per attendee.
  3. c) Except in case of emergency, I must notify Young America’s Foundation by October 31, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. EST of my inability to attend, or I will be charged the supplemental fee since it is too late to give my spot to another student.
  4. d) I understand that the conference fee is not refundable if I cancel my participation after October 31, 2017.
  5. e) I understand I will be assigned roommates for the conference and that I may have to share a bed. I may request preferred roommates of the same sex, but there is a chance I may not be able to room with them.
  6. f) I agree to abide by all rules and instructions of Young America’s Foundation and to obey all laws.  I agree to notify Young America’s Foundation’s staff immediately if a problem arises during the conference.
  7. g) Young America’s Foundation uses real photos, videos, and quotes from students for promotional purposes and to advance its mission. By attending this program, I consent to the use of my photo, written evaluation statements, and video in any Young America’s Foundation materials.