6. Do you have any tips for first-generation students who are trying to decide if college is right for them?
I would definitely encourage the students to read, as much as possible, the resources out there. Also, a lot of students really overlook the importance of talking to alumni ... and getting in touch with professors. I never would have thought about this as a first-generation student, but I would encourage them to get in touch with professors with any questions that they have.
7. What can parents of first-generation students do to support their college kids?
Often, the parents don't know what to do to support. It's not like they don't want to support, but if they haven't had that experience themselves, they're not sure what questions to ask or how to support. The best thing that the parents can do is be an emotional support.
[Find out how to help your child stay safe on campus.]
They might not understand everything the student is going through or be able to help in very tangible ways, like to be able to help the student choose classes or give feedback about what to get involved in on campus, but they can still be an emotional support, and the students know that their parents are proud of them and are behind what they're doing. That's very valuable.
8. Do you have any other advice for first-generation students?
First-generation students have survival skills. The same survival skills that enabled them to make it to college will also benefit them in college. Their experiences can be a real source of strength and pride. It took me a long time to realize that [we] should be proud of those survival skills, because there's a lot of people that don't have them.
Searching for a college? Access the complete rankings of Best Colleges.