Do you remember the first time you set foot on a college campus? Were you left breathless by the large buildings, by the number of students hurrying across the commons, by the sheer possibility those buildings and those students held?
Many College Possible high school students have never had that experience. As they begin to prepare their college applications and understand, maybe for the first time, that college is in their future, these students have no way of knowing if the college they’ve applied to will be a good fit. It’s hard to imagine yourself on a college campus, much less earning your degree, if you’ve never seen a college first-hand.
That’s why an important part of the College Possible program is arranging campus tours for students. Working closely with college partners in our Connects program, College Possible team members visit campuses with students to expose them to the sights, sounds and even feelings of a variety of colleges.
Earlier this month, 68 College Possible high school seniors from all six sites across the country visited Luther College in Iowa, a valued long-term partner and supporter. The trip – free of charge to students – was funded in large part by Luther College, while our generous donors covered the remaining expenses. This was the first year Luther College offered this to all of our students, and they custom-designed the visit especially for College Possible.
Students arrived after a long day of travel and spent one night and one full day on campus. Each student was paired up with a current Luther College student who became their 1-on-1 host. They showed them around campus, talked about their experiences at school and gave them the behind-the-scenes experience. The group also participated in campus tours, admission sessions and more.
“The opportunity to visit any campus, much less an out-of-state school, can be invaluable for students. There’s something that’s indescribable when you first set foot on a campus that helps to evaluate, sometimes on a gut level, whether a school will be a good fit,” said Margarita Gutierrez Lemus, College Possible Portland program manager.
This fly-in visit was made possible by the partnership between Luther College and College Possible. We’re working with more than 300 colleges and universities to help strengthen their retention and success rates for first-generation students.
by Bevin Wong