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Private Colleges Pioneer Programs for First-generation Students

July 24, 2008

by Emily

Twenty small private colleges will be using a Wal Mart Foundation grant this fall to augment their efforts to recruit and retain first-generation college students, according to an Inside Higher Ed article.  While many first-generation students initially look to community colleges or state universities, many private colleges and universities argue that they could be a good fit as well due to smaller student populations and better access to professors and resources.  In addition to these advantages, recipients of the Wal Mart Foundation grant will be adding more programs specifically designed for students who are the first in their families to attend college.

This funding is being used for a wide variety of projects of especial benefit to poor and working-class students.  Lesley University in Massachussettes plans to use its grant money for outreach programs to inform high school students of their options for college.  Saint Edwards University in Texas and Ripon College in Wisconsin both plan to implement bridge programs that help freshmen gain necessary skills to succeed in college the summer before they start classes.  Ripon College also plans to use this grant to help its first-generation students gain paid internships and valuable work experience before they graduate. 

With the current financial aid crunch, small private colleges and universities undertaking efforts such as these can become more appealing options for budget-conscious students and families, as well as students concerned about their preparedness for college.  Choosing the right college is vital, since there are all sorts of special programs for different students populations at each school.  Conduct a free college search on Scholarships.com to get started!


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