Admissions, First Generation Students

How to Stand Out on a College Application as a First-Generation Student

0 Comments 14 September 2017

As a first-generation college student, going up against thousands of other college applicants might seem intimidating. Here are some tips for how you can stand out on your application.

Determine if you have first-generation status at this school. Colleges have different definitions of first-generation. Some consider students whose parents who never attended any post-secondary institution as first-generation students. Others will consider students whose parents attended a two-year institution to be first-generation. Colleges also consider you to be a first-generation student if your parents didn’t attend college, but your siblings did.

Be authentic. When you are answering questions on the application, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Keep the writing clear and precise. There’s no need to break out a thesaurus. Use simple language when you are explaining your academic/career goals and why you want to attend this specific college.

Let your experiences shine in your application essay. Your college application essay is the best place for you to share your experiences. If you are able to select your own topic, write about a personal experience that highlights the struggles you have overcome as a first-generation student. If you are unable to pick the essay topic, just make sure you find a way to tie back the essay to your life. Admissions officers want a well-rounded student body. Show them why you are unique.

Have your mentor check over your application. Your mentor has been through the college application process. He or she will know what a college admissions officer is looking for. This person also should know you. Your mentor should be able to give you tips as to what personality traits and life experiences you should highlight in your college application.

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