Blog

06/2014

First Come, Last Served

University Does Not Do Enough to Accommodate First-Generation Students

This blog was cross-posted from The Chicago Maroon, by Lynda Lopez

Recently, UChicago has shown an increased commitment to recruiting low-income students through initiatives such as QuestBridge and UChicago Promise. Fifty-one students in the Class of 2018 received full four-year scholarships through QuestBridge, the highest among all 35 partner colleges; 73 students in the Class of 2017 benefited from UChicago Promise, which includes a guarantee of no loans for Chicago residents who attended Chicago high schools and are admitted to the College.

All these initiatives are great, but what happens after these students arrive on campus? Many of them are also first-generation, meaning they are the first in their families to attend college.

Being a low-income, first-generation college student can be like jumping into a pool without knowing how to swim. As the daughter of immigrants with no college graduates in my family, I didn’t have a good idea of what to do once I was here. I didn’t know how to ask professors or TAs for help or how to pick the right classes. Everything was foreign to me.