Special Reports

New Initiative Urges Universities To Waive Application Fee For First-Generation Students


A new initiative has been rolled out that urges universities and colleges to automatically waive the application fee for first-generation students. The project is called the "No Apologies" initiative.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that most first-generation students face a lot of obstacles when entering university or college. The challenges can range from financial to social issues. This is why student groups from elite institutions collaborated with IvyG, which is a first-generation college student network, to eliminate one obstacle that is hindering first-generation students from upward mobility.

Last week, the coalition of the student groups announced an initiative called "No Apologies," which urges universities and colleges to adopt a policy where the application fee of first-generation students are automatically waived. The initiative includes a statement signed by student-body presidents and student groups from Stanford University, Northwestern University, Emory University, the University of Chicago as well as from the Ivy League universities.

The policy makes it so that first-generation and low-income students will no longer need to request waivers, which can take time and may not be approved all the time. The group argued that the request can be "demoralizing" and that, if the higher education institutions remove application fees, it would be a significant step toward balancing the social and economic disparities within student populations.

According to The Daily Princetonian, Undergraduate Student Government President Myesha Jemison has signed the initiative along with Melana Hammel, co-chair of the Princeton Hidden Minority Council, and Daniel Qian, USG Vice President. Jemison, who is also a first-generation student, believes that there is a lot of factors that can be improved in terms of the experience of prospective first-generation students.

The Dartmouth noted that the university's Student Assembly president Nick Harrington has also signed the initiative. In an update, it was added that one of Dartmouth's First Generation Network student coordinators has also signed the initiative.

In a report by The Brown Daily Herald, Undergraduate Council of Students President Viet Nguyen, who introduced the "No Apologies Initiative," told the publication that the program is expected to change the way applicants view college. It is believed that the initiative can help remove the obstacles that hinder first-generation students from applying to college.

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