Students who do not have any family members that have pursued post-secondary education have been known to experience unique challenges in applying to, matriculating to, and graduating from university and college. These may include practical challenges such as unfamiliarity with the application process and financial barriers as well as psychological challenges such as anxiety about academic and social preparedness. These challenges can greatly deter such students from pursuing post-secondary education. Each year, the Find Your Path Scholarship Program recognizes and supports courageous individuals who have overcome such obstacles and been accepted to an accredited post-secondary institution. Winners of the Find Your Path Scholarship receive a $500 award and mentorship support from a current university or college student. Preference is given to students who demonstrate academic excellence and have positively contributed to their school and/or local communities.
APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED
Thank you to all who have applied for the Find Your Path 2022 Scholarship. Winners will be shared on our Scholarship Recipients Page.
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WHY SERVE FIRST-GENERATION POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS?
On top of social barriers impeding many marginalized students in their pursuit for higher education, first-generation post-secondary students face increased financial hardship. According to a Forbes study, the median annual household income for students whose parents earned a degree is $99,635, where as first-generation student households earn an annual income of $37,565. By consequence, a staggering 17% of first-generation students attend post secondary schools in comparison to 50% of non-first generation students. 75.3% of first generation students are forced to seek out part-time employment during their first year, in comparison to 56.4% of non-first generation students, which adds increased stress and pressure to a full-time student’s already heavy workload.
In addition to increased financial disadvantage, there is often a lack of necessary knowledge of post-secondary programs and application processes, necessary equipment to properly apply themselves in their post-secondary endeavours, and skills needed to progress within post-secondary institutions. For example, many low-income households are unable to provide technological aids like computers and other devices, leading to what Forbes estimates as a opportunity gap of 22.9% between low-income first generation students and high-income non-first generation students. One analysis found that 40% of first generation students require remedial coursework in mathematics whereas the percentage decreases to 16% for non-first generation students, which is another example of the added financial and emotional burden first-generation students undertake. Every student should be able to pursue PSE, regardless of his/her socio-economic background. Recognizing the crucial need to supply first generation students with access to the right financial resources, Find Your Path sets out to reward an annual scholarship to first-generation students, partially decreasing the financial burden impeding their post-secondary pursuits. We also seek to provide both first-generation and low-income students with the necessary information and motivation they need to overcome whatever obstacles they face that are stopping them from applying to and attending post-secondary institutions.