1,300 Seniors Across the Country to March College Applications to Post Offices in National College March

NYC-born ritual goes national, celebrating perseverance of college-bound students
Dec 12, 2014 3:15 PM ET

New York, NY, December 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ - More than 1,300 seniors from 19 high schools in nine cities across the country will participate in a national College March, and march from their respective schools to local post offices or mail trucks on Friday, December 12. Students will submit their college applications as thousands of classmates, teachers, family members, local businesses and community leaders cheer them on. The College March, which originated in the NYC Outward Bound Schools network, and has been supported by Capital One since its inception, is expanding nationally this year. The March serves as an annual ritual that exhibits the grit, courage and determination of students in actualizing the dream of college access for all.

Recognized by President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address, the College March began in 2011 at WHEELS, a public school in the NYC Outward Bound Schools network, with help from Capital One. In 2012, the College March spread to every NYC Outward Bound high school, spanning all five boroughs of the City. Today, NYC Outward Bound Schools and Capital One are convening others across the country to join the March: from Expeditionary Learning schools in the Northeast and Midwest, to Communities in Schools-partnered high schools in the Mid Atlantic, to Uplift Charter Network schools in the South.  

Most of the students participating in the March are the first in their families to apply to college, and for many English is a second language. Across the NYC Outward Bound Schools network, 77 percent of students are eligible for free/reduced lunch and 82 percent of 9th graders enter school behind grade level in English. Despite this reality, 95 percent of the network’s 2014 graduates were accepted to college, including Cornell, NYU, Brandeis and Vanderbilt.

The College March is a powerful symbol of the idea that every student, regardless of background or circumstance, has the potential to thrive at a high-quality institution of higher learning. As a school ritual, it helps establish college-going cultures in participating schools, reminding every student who marches – and every younger student who watches – that when their perseverance and hard work is met with academic preparation and school support, each of them can earn a degree. Practically speaking, it ensures that seniors get their college applications out in time for critical application deadlines. 

“The College March exemplifies our school network’s commitment to preparing our students for college,” said Richard Stopol, President of NYC Outward Bound Schools. “We are honored to help grow this best practice with other schools across the nation who are invested in ensuring that all young people, regardless of background or circumstance, are prepared for and have access to a quality collegiate experience.”

“The College March celebrates the students’ determination to overcome adversity in the pursuit of a college education. We proudly support NYC Outward Bound Schools as this movement spreads nationwide,” said Michael Slocum, President, Commercial Banking & Northeast Regional President at Capital One Bank. “At Capital One, we support programs that prepare students for successful futures with the necessary skills and education, and we want every high school student to know that college is a possibility for them.”

“I'm the first person in my family to even think about applying to college,” said Melina Hernandez, a 2013 graduate of Community Leaders, a NYC Outward Bound School, and current sophomore at American University in Washington, DC. “When I participated in the College March, it was so inspiring to see everyone from the school and community cheering us on as we delivered our applications. I had such pride knowing I was one step closer to achieving this dream.”

To find addresses for each College March, go to CollegeMarch.org. Participating schools by region are:


  • Manhattan, NY: Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School / WHEELS (Washington Heights) – Founding College March school
  • Manhattan, NY: James Baldwin School (Chelsea)
  • Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies (Carroll Gardens)
  • Brooklyn, NY: Community Leaders School (Bensonhurst)
  • Brooklyn, NY: Kurt Hahn School (East Flatbush)
  • Queens, NY: Channel View School for Research (Rockaway Beach)
  • Staten Island, NY: Gaynor McCown School (New Springville)
  • Bronx, NY: Validus Preparatory Academy (South Bronx)
  • Buffalo, NY: Tapestry Charter School
  • Rochester, NY: World of Inquiry School
  • Springfield, MA: The Springfield Renaissance School
  • Portland, ME: Casco Bay High School for Expeditionary Learning

Mid Atlantic

  • Wilmington, DE: Thomas McKean High School
  • Wilmington, DE: John Dickinson High School
  • Wilmington, DE: William Penn High School
  • Wilmington, DE: Alexis I. duPont High School
  • Washington, DC*: Capital City Public Charter School (*Marched on December 5)


  • Kenosha, WI: Harborside Academy


  • Dallas, TX*: Uplift Peak Preparatory (*Marched on December 5)


About NYC Outward Bound Schools
NYC Outward Bound Schools (www.nycoutwardbound.org) has been transforming New York City’s public schools and changing students’ lives for over 25 years. We operate a growing network of public schools in all five boroughs of the City, which teach the central lesson of Outward Bound: that all of us are capable of more than we think possible. 77% of students in our network schools qualify for free/reduced lunch, and yet 84% of our students graduate on time compared to 66% Citywide. 95% of our 2014 graduates were accepted to colleges including Cornell, Brandeis, Vanderbilt, NYU, Skidmore, Dickinson and Wheaton.

About Capital One
Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $204.3 billion in deposits and $300.2 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2014. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities - good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families - benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.