Several Programs Provide Lifelines to First-generation Students

Each year on a Friday afternoon late in the spring, dozens of Georgetown University co-ed seniors take a short walk to Ann Taylor Loft, a women’s clothing store.

When they arrive, the management closes the store for three hours. ­Then, under the guidance of experienced stylists, the young women browse and pick out appropriate professional attire for their upcoming internship or post-graduation job. ­The cost of their shopping spree is borne by the retailer, whose president is the parent of a recent Georgetown graduate.

The men get to shop, too. Once a year, a few dozen seniors receive gift cards to offset most of the expenses of picking up suits and accessories at Jos A. Bank.

These students are members of the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP), which was formed in 2004 to enhance the college experience of first-generation and lower-income students.

But the students do a lot more than just shop. ­They receive generous scholarship packages designed to ensure that they graduate with no more than approximately $6,000 in college debt. <Read more.>

Via Lekan Oguntoyinbo, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.