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Nov 11, 2016 06:08 AM EST

4 Things Every First-Generation College Student Needs To Know


Entering college is only one step in pursuing one's dream. The road is not always straight. There are instances when college students have to go through a rocky road.  There are so many things that await college enrollees and financial issue is just one of them.

In the case of first-generation college students or those who are first in their family to attend a four-year college, the pressure is twice. They need not worry, though, as there are people who could help them survive the demands of college life.

Stony Brook University's Senior Associate Admissions Adviser Michelle Curtis-Bailey teamed up with Yolanda Norman, CEO/founder of FirstGenCollege Consulting in Texas to discuss how the first-generation college students could thrive and survive college, as per US News.

On managing finance

Norman explained that students can acquire knowledge about managing finance through developing relationships with a financial aid adviser. She encouraged students to fill out the FAFSA each year for them to find grants and scholarships.

Making the most out of time

Students can also earn money through on-campus job which will allow them to have flexible time to work and excel in their academics. Bailey added that looking for jobs during summer near the campus can help earn some more. However, managing time and setting priorities should be done.

Surviving the freshman year

Based on federal data, first-generation college students are more likely to find it hard to graduate in a span of six years. Experts believe that these students may suffer from the feelings of inadequacy and other psychological and social issues such as importer syndrome. 

For those students who feel unprepared to get to college, Norman advised them to ask for help whenever they cannot comprehend the concept given to them. Students should overcome their fear of asking for help.

Looking for support group

When they feel like they are out of place, visiting the counseling office can be a convenient place for them to share their struggles with the transition. They can also approach their family as their support group.

Curtis-Bailey said that students should always lean in to their family. By being honest about their feelings and having an open communication with their family, they can create a great support group that could help them thrive as college students. 

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