The road to college can be a tough one. An article in The Atlantic touches upon how difficult it can to be the first in the family to attend college and an article on Cleveland.com talks about the financial challenge for low-income students.
Even though college is new to any first-time freshman, adjusting to it is more difficult for a first generation, low income student. This can be for a few reasons:
- struggling with social integration
- academically behind
- live at home or off-campus
- financially challenged
Being a first generation student comes with challenges. Their help system is smaller than those who are of second or third generation. They face more financial challenges because they are of a low income.
Going to a public high school doesn’t put out in the open the challenges students have except academic based challenges But in college the challenges for first-generation students can be more noticeable. Students from low-income backgrounds are not as well off as their college peers who are second, third generation or of a higher income. Because of the difference it is harder to connect and be social with peers. That leads to trying to find a niche, people with similar backgrounds.
The expenses that come with college are harder to fulfill. Access to a college education is now not difficult to attain but the costs are a bigger barrier for a first-generation, low-income student. They need help to make their education more affordable.
The challenges can pose a threat to their possibility of graduating.
Organizations like One Goal focus on helping first-generation students get to graduation.
The opportunities and the support is there but the challenges are harder to overcome. Mentoring, college programs and organizations can help students overcome those challenges and make it more possible for them to graduate.