ASU helps first generation students

TEMPE, AZ – A federally funded program at Arizona State University is helping low-income first-generation students enter school and succeed.

TRIO and Student Support Services have several different programs that connect students to resources such as tutoring and financial aid.

“My parents didn’t go to college, they’re more like – if you need anything we’ll do our best to help you, but FAFSA, we don’t know what it is,” said Edgar Ortega, a student at ASU.

Ortega told ABC15 that it was difficult to navigate the application process because he was the first in his family to go to college.

“It’s hard to be the only child,” he added.

Dr. Sharon Smith is Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students. She told ABC15 that she was passionate about children’s access to education.

“Access is a very important part of our mission – and so with that, we recognize that every student deserves an opportunity to get a college education,” she said.

According to Smith, there is a growing need for their services.

“We support students in academic preparation which includes tutoring, filling out financial aid forms with their university applications, again, all in the hope of removing any barriers that a student might meet, ”Smith said.

According to the Arizona Board of Regents, fewer high school students in Arizona are applying for college. However, the number of black and Hispanic students attending four-year schools is increasing.

Student support services also help veterans get an education.

“I knew I wanted to go to school. I just didn’t know how I was going to do it,” said Elizabeth Preayer, a Marine Corps veteran.

Preayer said she was a first generation student and was able to benefit from free tutoring through TRIO and its Upward Bound Veterans program.

For more information on the services or to connect with SSS, visit their website here.

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