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college countdown: your college success starts here

Answers to Your College Questions

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Posted by on in College

college-orientationIncoming freshmen can increase their chances of having a happy landing at college if they attend their first-year orientation program. However, attendance is only half the battle—it is important that students take full advantage of what is offered by these programs. Check out these tips to help you make sure you get the most out of your freshman orientation:

Before You Arrive On Campus

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Posted by on in In the News

The New York Times recently published an article that follows the stories of three low-income students who, having participated in a college-readiness program and succeeded in being admitted to excellent colleges, were not able to make it through to graduation. These students dealt with issues ranging from feelings of insecurity and not fitting in the environment to financial hardship. Some of these struggles were intertwined.

It has been my experience that the issues of insecurity and not fitting in are detrimental to low-income, first-generation, and minority students entering college. They do not understand that asking questions is a sign of strength, not weakness. This seems especially true when the students do not yet know the language, rules, players, and customs that are key to navigating college life successfully. These students are afraid of being seen as deficient, so they do not take advantage of tools and resources—such as advisers, tutors, career counselors, and even faculty—that are there to support them, paid for by their tuition dollars. This also means that they don’t have the conversations they need to have regarding financial considerations, often causing them to wait until things are dire. College preparation for these students needs to teach them that these resources are available, that there are students like them who have dealt with these same feelings, issues, and concerns, and that utilizing these resources can help them succeed in college.

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