*Disclaimer: the First Generation Network is aware that not all First Generation Students are on Financial Aid**
by Adenrele Adewusi ’15
As financial aid deadlines approach, it is an appropriate time to discuss the economic disparities on college campuses. At a private college, especially an ivy league institution, there is a large population of students with seemingly endless incomes. As a financial aid student, there are awkward moments when my friends want to go out to eat, go skiing, or take a trip, and I have to be honest and tell them I cannot afford it. In addition, there are barriers academically as well as socially. Art and lab classes have supplementary fees, some P.E. classes are out of reach, and joining a Greek organization may not be an option depending on the dues.
Linked below is an article written by S.E. Smith about being a very poor student at Bennington College, which at the time was one of the top five most expensive colleges in the nation. She recalls:
I arrived on campus with a backpack full of clothes, some sheets wedged into the top, and my battered, precious laptop that I had scrimped and saved for. There was nothing else. On move-in day, I watched people fill their rooms with refrigerators and technology and piles and piles of things and my roommate sighed with relief when I said no, I didn’t have anything to put in the closet, sure, she could use the whole thing if she wanted to. I filled one drawer in my dresser.
What are your thoughts on socioeconomic diversity and/or culture at Dartmouth?