“Visiting Rowan allowed me to see that I have more options for college.”
“The number one thing I got out of this trip was a good feel for how college life is at Rowan.”
“Going to Rowan University gave me information about colleges, scholarships, and many other helpful tips. It also helped me see what a college would look like and what they have to offer.”
On Saturday, March 26, we took 25 Domenica Scholars on a tour of Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, accompanied by high school and Catholic Partnership Schools staff. The trip was open to all scholarship recipients in grades 9 through 11. You can see from their testimonials how much the young people enjoyed the trip!
Connie McSherry Reader, our student support liaison at Paul VI High School, talked about why it’s important for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to go on college visits.
“Our students are incredibly bright and talented. Many of them are in the top of their class, and most receive first and second honors each semester. But even when they receive scholarships and grants, the financial burden of college is so great that their families cannot afford the cost.
“In working with the Domenica Foundation to address this gap, we decided getting the students on college campuses early in their high school career was critically important so they could understand the costs and the programs available to first generation low-income students.”
The students’ delight with the tour started with the fancy bus Rowan University provided. When the students arrived on campus, they were treated to an admissions presentation and received Rowan T-shirts.
Small-group tours were led by Rowan student ambassadors. We toured not only academic buildings but also the student center, the fitness center, and a dorm. Lunch in the cafeteria gave students another glimpse of campus life — and it was all you can eat, which they loved! To round out the picture of campus life, the students visited a nearby downtown area.
For many students, the tour was the highlight of the trip. One student said, “I learned lots of new things about campus life and how classes work. I learned things like how college students swipe to get food and how access to pools and gyms work.”
Most students had never before set foot on a college campus. Most are also the first in their families to set their feet on a college-bound path.
“College tours are a standard experience for affluent kids,” said Elena Piperno, Domenica Foundation director. “This tour gave our Domenica Scholars the same opportunity.
“Rowan showed them the whole college experience– not only academics but also clubs, the fitness center, the dorms. Now our scholarship recipients can really start to see themselves as college students. If they can see it, they can be it.”
When Elena asked where the students would like to go next, they responded enthusiastically: “Princeton! Stockton! Harvard!” We’re thinking of staying local and are looking for institutions of higher education that would be as welcoming as Rowan was. If you have a connection to share, please contact us.