2. Spotlight on Services for First-Generation Students

19th March 2022

2. Spotlight on Services for First-Generation Students

An analysis by the Georgetown center predicted that by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the United States would require postsecondary education and training. (quoted from the article)

Let's look right past the sad fact that only 42 percent of students with parents who went to college manage to earn a college degree in four years. That's bad enough, and we have talked about unsatisfactory graduation rates several times here at USACollegeChat. We have even talked about the idea that actually graduating in four years is one of the best ways to cut college costs for every student at every type of college.

The fact that only 27 percent of first-generation-to-college students manage to earn a college degree in four years is indeed concerning. And, for these kids, it likely means that some additional counseling or support of other kinds might help raise that figure to at least the lackluster 42 percent scored by other kids.

Without a college degree, children of low-income parents are likely to be low-income adults, and their earning potential will only get worse over time

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You should read Ms. Zimmerman's article to get the full anecdotes about the colleges we will mention now as well as their success statistics. The stories are worth reading in their entirety. But let's look at a few briefly:

. . . Aspire [is] a program [Dennis] Di Lorenzo created two years ago [at New York University]. Aspire aims to give students information about higher education, the application process and financial aid, and prepare them academically for the transition to college.

The free, two-year program serves 40 high school each summer at N.Y.U. There are also classes and workshops throughout the school year that offer leadership training, advanced math instruction, assistance with college essay preparation, and discussions about careers, scholarships and college majors. In addition, students are connected to a group of college student mentors. (quoted from the article)

Ms. Zimmerman tells the story of one senior who stayed in a room on the 22nd floor of an NYU campus dorm for the weeklong program. It was the young man's first time in a college dorm and, more significantly, the first time sleeping away from home and the first time having a roommate from outside his family. Imagine how eye-opening that experience must have been for that young man and how much it must have helped him to see what attending a great private university--or really any university--might be like.

It was influenced by a study of 20 public schools in New York City's lower-income neighborhoods that found graduation rates suffering and a huge variance in college-readiness programs

Let's move the spotlight slightly west and take a look at Rutgers University, New Jersey's public flagship university. The Rutgers Future Scholars program identifies promising first-generation, low-income students in the seventh grade in four urban school districts--Newark, New Brunswick, Piscataway, and Camden. Students are selected for their academic performance as well as for their participation in their communities and schools. We look for the if only' https://www.paydayloanadvance.net students, those who are on the cusp of doing remarkable things but need that additional support system in their life, said program director Aramis Gutierrez.

Once identified, these students receive academic support and enrichment, and mentoring from Future Scholars participants who are now in college. They attend classes after school, on weekends and during the summer. No student is ever expelled from the program for poor grades or lagging attendance. (quoted from the article) Rather, they are given a second chance, after appropriate intervention by faculty members. And, by the way, those Future Scholars who go on the attend Rutgers, get free tuition on top of everything else. The undocumented students in the program have their tuition paid by private donors. Special kudos to those donors!