College Myths| Within Low Income Communities

8/22/2016


As a smart brown kid you've probably heard a lot of lies about college from family members who have never even set foot on a college campus or better yet, talked to your high school counselor.


Let's clear up the myths behind being a first generation college student.


1)

LIE: I don't need help paying for college because my child is going to get scholarship.

TRUTH:
High school seniors have the greatest number of scholarships available to them. Women are offered more scholarship then men.

Athletes do get scholarships and those contracts should be read like any other contract you find yourself signing. If an athlete fails to meet the requirements, physical or academic, they could lose their scholarship.

For example, if your student is injured and fails to recover they will lose their scholarship and the family is left with figuring out how to pay for students college for the x amount of years they have left.

Also athletes will need extra money for little things the university does not pay for.

Academic scholarships are based on how well your student does, either within their department or their university. Ie, there are two GPAs, one is their department GPA and the other is their University GPA. Some academic scholarships require that both GPAs be above a 3.0. Make sure that your student understands the difference and how to strengthen both. Make sure the scholarship has a probation period in case your student doesn't do well at any time during their studies.


2)

LIE: Attending an HBUC is the best option for my child because they need to be around their own kind.

TRUTH: Attending a diverse university has proven to broaden the experience of most students and made them better net workers.

3)

Going to community college will cut the cost of college.

TRUTH: ( It will for 2 years).

This is true, going to community college and receiving a pell grant or scholarship is better "financially" for a student who is low income. Yet, if the area in which the student is living is harmful then the risk of the student finishing because very low. Influence within the community plays a big part on a student aspiration to beat the odds. They can end up pregnant or in jail.

4)

LIE: I don't need to be involved in the process of my child applying to schools or attending orientations.

TRUTH: This is a learning process for everyone. Just like your child must face some shortcomings in the world, so must you, the best thing you can do is face it and admit that you don't know something and seek out help. Being your students biggest supporter during the application process and freshmen orientations makes a huge difference. For example, they might not get into the school of their dreams but you can give suggestions why another school might be a better option.

Applications cost - so financially plan early how many you are willing to pay for and which ones you're willing to visit. Applications case $50+ and orientation $50+.

5)

LIE: My child knows how they were raised and will not get involved in any mischief in college

TRUTH: College is a time for exploration. It is also time when you stop strictly "parenting" your child and you start consulting the "adult." Tools for this is asking your child if they need help or what would make them more comfortable with their transition. If you have to visit them a few times during the semester, look up family week/days, and try your best to set time aside to be there and participate in the campus community. That way you will know where your student is going and who they might be hanging out with. You also get a chance to meet other students parents and you find a sense of community.

6)

LIE: The school doesn't need to know any of your financial information.

I've noticed that black families are very concerned with releasing information to the United States Education Department about their financial situation. One, they know some of it based on your IRS but mostly they want to see if there are any programs to assist your student, who mostly likely is a low-income student, and [FASFA] helps that student get the aid they deserve.

A lot of parents also refuse to pay any out of pocket fees in order to get their student started.
The school loans or grants only pay for certain things

1) A grant is only for tuition fees will only pay directly to your school. You will not get a refund on a grant.

2) You can get a refund on loans but be careful how much you take out and which ones. Perkins loans are paid back directly to your school and can not be used for the loan forgiveness. Luckily, Perkins loans are usually small amounts. I don't suggest getting Parent Plus Loans. This is basically your parents co-signing for your school loans and this might cause a rift later when you don't get that high paying job because the job market.

If your student is under 21 years old it will be harder for them to get a loan. Their grants are mostly allocated to meet the cost of tuition/university fees (ie health/student government)/housing/ or campus dinning.

OUT OF POCKET FEES|

The fees you will obtain is application fees, travel fees for a tour or orientation, BOOKS, the items needed for dorm living (bedding, mini frig, cleaning supplies, laundry monies, bus passes/gas card, parking passes, etc). There are countless things that financial aid does not cover.


Don't believe the myths of college first generations students. You are powerful beyond measure. If you made it this far, you can do anything you set your mind too. Wishing you a wonder academic year!


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This blog is NOT geared toward sexual orientation or gender classification. This blog is based solely on the blog authors experience and research. This blog is geared toward promoting a mixture of masculine and feminine attire and with an integrated genderless lifestyle.

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