Resources for first-generation college students are abundant — you just need to know where to look. Here are a few tips to help you get started on the college-application process.
Attend Fly-In Programs and College Fairs
It’s vital to know about a college before you apply. Seeing a campus in person is drastically different than experiencing it behind a computer screen.
Traveling to a college for a campus visit can get expensive, so some colleges offer fly-in programs to curb costs for prospective students. These programs cover transportation and allow you to see the school for yourself.
If a fly-in program is out of the question, attending a local college fair is a great alternative. Although you won’t be able to experience a college in-person, this gives you the opportunity to talk to a representative from that institution.
If you have questions related to the college-application process, don’t be afraid to Google. Look up any terms on an application that you are unfamiliar with.
If you need further assistance, email or call an admission counselor. They can break down application requirements and financial aid into easy-to-follow steps. Once you have narrowed down your college list, search for “first-generation students” on a college’s website to see what resources are available.
Sign Up for a Summer Program
A summer program is the best way to learn about a college’s culture and curriculum. First-generation students can feel out of place at college. Attending a summer program can ease the transition to college and ensure students are up for the challenge of college courses. Not every summer program provides financial aid to its participants, so take a look at this list of programs that do.
Ask For Help
Although your parents may not be able to guide you through this process, you don’t have to go through it alone. Share your goals with your family. They can offer emotional support and assist you in finding another family member, friend or organization that can to provide you with financial support or answer questions. Organizations like I’m First guide first-generation college students through this process.