Calling All First Generation Scholars!
Encourage Illinois high school students who will be the first person in their family to earn a college degree to join the First Generation Scholars Network (FGSN) from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). The goal of FGSN is to connect first generation college students with one another so they can support each other through this network, receive additional support year-round from ISAC's First Generation Scholars Network mentors, combat summer melt, and help make their transition to college a whole lot easier – and successful.
ISAC and our ISACorps of near-peer mentors have been working with and supporting students through the college going process with activities including, but not limited to, one-on-one mentoring, presentations on financial aid opportunities, and assistance with college admission and financial aid applications. Through this work we know students from high schools across the state and where they plan to go for college. FGSN allows us to extend this college going work to help students develop a sense of belonging as they move from high school to their respective campuses in the fall. This sense of belonging can improve their persistence through the first term and first year of college.
In addition to the other college going support, students in the network can:
- Meet other first generation students attending their college
- Hear stories from current first generation college students and first generation college graduates at different points in their career
- Join live and virtual events created specifically for them throughout the state
- Engage with professionals who are first generation college graduates
Send students to the FGSN webpage to join and learn more, and please share information about the FGSN with colleagues at your organization and with others in your personal and professional networks.
ISAC wants to collaborate with colleges and universities to help ensure students develop a sense of belonging through the network and get them connected to the campus staff, programs, and services to support them. ISAC and our First Generation Scholars Network mentors are available to work with colleges and universities to support existing campus programming for first generation college students and to collaborate to develop new student supports. Contact ISAC.FirstGen@illinois.gov to start the conversation on ways ISAC can partner with your campus for student success.
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