There are great resources these days to help students get to and through college. (CollegeMapper wink wink.)
However, what you might not know is that a whole set of resources exist to support first-generation students.
Awareness about first-gens is growing and colleges are listening. Take a look at these 7 resources that were designed specifically with first-gens (and other under-represented groups) in mind.
1. Some schools have Diversity Offices, which are a great help to first-gen students. They can provide you with information about different programs on campus, answer any questions you might have and help you make a smooth transition to college.
2. A number of schools host Fly-In/Open House programs. These programs provide opportunities for first-gen students to visit the campus of the host college. The college will help pay for flights and/or room and board. These programs are awesome, but they are fairly competitive and require applications.
3. First Year Transition programs are another great option some colleges offer for first-gen students who are enrolled in a college. These special orientation sessions happen in the summer, of anything from 3 weeks to 3 days, where first-gen kids can show up earlier than everybody else and get a little special attention and some extra explanations. Ask your colleges before you apply if programs like this exist, and if they do, definitely sign up! It’s great to have friends who are in your same boat so that you can navigate these new and exciting waters together!
4. All colleges have many Student Life Groups and some campuses have special groups that you can join where you can meet other first-gens and support one another by sharing your learning and experiences. Check and see if the schools you’re applying to have any relevant groups.
5. Some colleges have Community Outreach programs that pair college student mentors with first-gen high school students. This is a great way to give back to kids like you and pass on the valuable information that you’ve learned throughout this process!
6. CollegeMapper provides lots of great guidance to prepare for, select and apply to the best colleges for you. Our College Search is now optimized so you can search for colleges with all of the programs listed above. Just click the “Diversity” tab on the left-hand side of the page.
7. ThisIsGrit is a wonderful initiative that will inspire you with the stories of other first gens–people who set college as a goal and refused to give up.
Although it’s more difficult to get to college when you’re forging your own path, it’s entirely possible! We believe in you and know with the help of these awesome resources you can get the college education you deserve! Yay, college!