The transition to college is a complicated one, especially as a first-generation college student. There are many factors to consider: the label of “first-generation”, the financial component, the mental health aspect, and more, all on top of the academics. Navigating who you are within a larger campus can be a complex journey, but owning your story can help you succeed wherever you are. Also, being resourceful and tactical in your search for information are skills that stick with you past the undergraduate degree and throughout your entire life. Today, Sydney speaks with us today on how to orient your priorities to consider all of these factors that pile on top of the academic aspect.
- 1st Generation label
- Challenges upon arrival on campus
- Lack of financial, academic, professional, and psychological resources available
- Requirements for a social budget
- How colleges can help students acclimate and thrive in campus life
- Own your story
- Find a mentor
- Take advantage of all academic resources
- Think about mental health sooner rather than later
- It’s ok to say No
Important Resources and Links
- S. Montgomery Consulting
- Barrier Breakers program
- The Privileged Poor
- Ivy League degree: Now what?
- I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part
Meet Sydney Montgomery
Sydney Montgomery, owner and founder of S. Montgomery Admissions Consulting, has over a decade of experience working with and inspiring teenagers from all walks of life. In addition to her seven years working with and managing others at a nationwide educational consulting company, her experience has also included being a private performing arts teacher, academic tutor, and mentor. A graduate of Princeton University (A.B English, Certificate in French Language and Culture), Harvard Law School (J.D.) and the University of California, Irvine, Division of Continuing Education (Certificate in Independent Educational Consulting), Sydney has guided high school students through the college admissions process since 2012 and has helped students navigate the law school admissions process since 2015.
The daughter of an immigrant mother and a military father, Sydney knows first hand how daunting the college admissions process can be for first-generation college and law school students and aims to push students to be inspired, empowered, and achieve their full potential.
Sydney is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association, serving on both the Graduate School Committee and the Ethics Committee, as well as a member of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling.
Thank you to Sydney for joining us today to help educate us about the challenges and opportunities 1st generation and low-income college students face when arriving on campus. Knowing the full costs of attendance not only from an academic perspective but also in order for students to engage in full college experience, Colleges can do more to help students navigate their college years by providing the resources, networks, and financial aid needed to “attend” college. Find a mentor and take advantage of all academic and other resources the college has to offer sooner rather than later. Own your story – whatever that story is and it’s ok to say no.