Do students who will be the first in their families to attend college have an advantage in highly selective college admissions? You bet they do! America’s elite universities love to admit students whose parents did not attend college, to serve as pathways for these young people to socioeconomic mobility. You see, when one of our nation’s elite universities offers admission to a student who will be the first in their family to attend college, they feel as though they’re helping make the student’s whole family’s American dream come true. And that’s pretty cool.
Admissions Officers at Elite Universities Root for First-Gen College Students
Ivy Coach was cited yesterday in a piece in “The Santa Fe New Mexican” by Harry McGuinness entitled “Going first: College applications can bring challenges” that we figured we’d share with our readers. In the piece, McGuinness points out that what constitutes a first generation college student can be a bit blurry, depending on the institution. But we wanted to clarify: as a rule of thumb, at the vast majority of highly selective colleges, students whose parents did not attend college are considered first generation college students. In the piece, some questioned if a student is still first generation if an older sibling went to college. They are indeed! Siblings are members of the same generation — the first generation to attend college. At most of these elite schools, it doesn’t matter if a cousin attended college before the applicant. It doesn’t matter if an uncle attended college. All that matters is if mom and dad attended college.
As we are quoted in the piece in “The Santa Fe New Mexican,” “Brian Taylor, managing director at the college admissions preparation firm Ivy Coach, said colleges prefer first-generation students over even legacy students, the relatives of past alumni, that are typically considered highly sought-after in the college-recruitment process. ‘Highly selective colleges love when student’s parents and grandparents didn’t go to college,’ Taylor said. ‘These are students who admissions officers can easily get behind and root for.'” As they should!