As many colleges and advocacy groups focus on socioeconomic diversity and retention, meeting the needs of students who are the first in their families to pursue a degree has become a priority. To recruit students to a campus and to support them to graduation, some promising approaches are emerging.
Preparing first-generation students for the rigors of higher education, providing them with financial aid, and connecting them with the campus community are the biggest challenges institutions face, says a report released on Thursday by the Council of Independent Colleges.
With more than $5-million from the Walmart Foundation, the group gave grants to 50 of its member colleges, in two cycles over the past five years, to enhance services for first-generation students. Some offered scholarships, for example, or career preparation. <Read more.>