First Generation College Applicants

First Gen College Applicants, First Generation University Applicants, First Generation Ivy Applicants

First generation college applicants have an edge in the college admissions process. And if they knew this, more would apply to highly selective colleges. So get the word out!

There’s an article today in “The Daily Pennsylvanian” about first generation college applicants and the stresses they endure in the college admissions process. In the article, some frustration is voiced by students about how more needs to be done to help first generation college applicants as they seek to gain admission to a highly selective university (and finance an education at a highly selective college, too)!

According to Sasha Lagombra as quoted in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “‘Socioeconomic diversity in admissions is just starting to be picked up and discussed,’ she said. ‘It should be acknowledged that people are trying to do this, but obviously there is still a long way to go.’ She added that existing scholarship programs like QuestBridge and the Posse Foundation — both of which Penn uses in its outreach efforts — are beneficial, but often target overlapping communities.”

We happen to strongly disagree with the Wharton junior. Socioeconomic diversity is not “just starting to be picked up and discussed” in college admissions. Being a first generation college applicant has for years helped applicants get an edge in the admissions process…just like ethnic diversity.

Sons and daughters of taxi drivers and plumbers have an edge in college admissions over the sons and daughters of business executives and doctors (unless the business executive or doctor is going to bring acclaim or a ton of money to the university). And this has been the case for years. It’s nothing new. More, however, should be done to encourage first generation college applicants to apply to highly selective colleges and their fears of not being able to finance college should be addressed by college admissions officers at these very schools.


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