Ds Scholarship

The self-sufficient generalists

In business law, there is a concept called the principal-agent relationship. In this relationship, the principal authorizes the individual to be the agent, represents the agent and acts on behalf of the principal. As a first-generation, low-income (FGLI) undergraduate student, I believe that the above concept of business law clearly describes a salient aspect of the nature of relationships between FGLI students and their parents. For many FGLI students, we initially assume the proxy role of our parents, no matter how inexperienced, innocent, or highly class-conscious we may be.

The above observation is just one of many factors that have contributed to the drop in college enrollment since the start of the pandemic, which has led to a staggering 1 million student drop. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major setback for many individuals, and FGLI students have been particularly hard hit. Given the wide range of challenges that FGLI students face – new and existing challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic – it is not surprising that they have put their higher education on hold in order to help their families.

There are many cascading consequences of low FGLI enrollment rates in the community, especially for egalitarian collegiate institutions. Having one less student on the FGLI means their odds of upward mobility are reduced. Having one less student at FGLI means missing out on new perspectives, beyond those neighboring Canada Goose. One less FGLI student means one family is on the steady path of accumulating generational wealth through college.

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