First-generation college students persevere

Stefanie Botelho's picture

Deciding to apply to college and getting accepted was easy.

What needed to happen in between was the intimidating part for Suraj Sangroula and Ayi D’Almeida, Concord High School graduates and first-generation college students at the University of New Hampshire. Sangroula, 20, and D’Almeida, 21, are part of a first-generation college student population that has maintained steady enrollment numbers in the state over the last five years. For students whose parents don’t have an associate or bachelor’s degree, negotiating college visits, applications for admission and financial aid, and finding the right fit pose unique challenges. There are resources available, though, and by finding these resources, the two Concord graduates found their way to Durham.

“Growing up in Ghana I never thought about college,” said D’Almeida, a 2011 Concord graduate and junior at UNH. He decided to attend college shortly after moving to the United States six years ago. “I think it was mainly because my friends were talking about college, and they said how important college was for the future.”

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