Community School plans bus trips to college campuses for students


Photo Credit: Allison De Muelder

Students listen to a seminar featuring many of NYU’s facilitators, faculty, and students. They learned about the logistics that a high school student would need to know when applying to go there.

by Michael Taromina, Sports Beat Writer (Volleyball, Wrestling, and Softball)

The Glen Rock Community School has planned frequent college visits for high school students throughout the year to different colleges throughout the Northeast.


Students travel to the campuses on buses and spend the day at one or two schools. They interact with the students there, and simply spend the day seeing the perspective of a college student.


The trips are planned and coordinated by the Director of Communications for the District, Allison De Meulder. Parents initially had approached her with the idea. 


The parents said that they were more than willing to take their children to see the various schools, but they thought that going “with friends or other students” would be a “great experience” to help them form their own opinions away from influential parents. 


When planning trips, the Community School reaches out to a company called “College Exploration Tours.” The company and school team up to organize day trips to certain colleges that have been frequently attended by Glen Rock alumni. 


The Community School submits how many people are going to attend the tours for the day, and the company charges a per head price. The school then charges an overall price to students. 


“Nothing is really subsidized, but we try to keep the price down as much as we can,” De Meulder said.


Both the company and the Community School tries to plan to visit two colleges that are close to each other.


During the tours, students attend an hour-long information session, which will explain to them what the application process is like at that school. They learn about the majors and what it’s like to be a student at that particular university. and what type of student the university looking for. Then students take a student-led tour around the campus, visiting the bookstore and eating at one of the dining facilities on campus. When trips go to two schools, there’ll be a lunch on one campus and dinner on  the other.


“During the whole day, the Glen Rock students are allowed to ask any questions they might have to both a facilitator at the school or a student who goes to school, whoever they need to talk to,” De Meulder said.


So far, there have been two college visits this year. The first one happened this past September to Fordham University and New York University. The students that went said they very much enjoyed spending time in the colleges and meeting new people.


This past October, the attendance doubled as the student ventured south to the University of Delaware and Villanova. There, students got to feel the college vibe on Delaware and Villanova’s big campuses.


“Most of the students are seniors and juniors, but anyone with an interest in the college itself or wants to get informed or has questions is more than welcome to come,” De Meulder said. 


To advertise, the Community School uses social media. However, De Meulder believes the students who have gone on the tour can be even bigger advocates than any social media can do.


Students have talked about how beneficial it is to talk to a Director of College Counseling who normally is present at the tours. Since the director knows he has a lot of experience in helping people get into colleges and knowing about different colleges, the students are able to ask and obtain any information in the field of college in general. 

Unfortunately, the school had to cancel its upcoming trip in December to Quinnipiac and Fairfield University due to too few sign-ups. But the school is currently planning more trips this coming spring to possibly Penn State University, Lehigh University, Lafayette College and Muhlenberg College.