Important information for first generation college Latinos

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According to the U.S. Census there are 20.2 million students attending U.S. colleges and universities. Eight-point-seven of them are male. Seven million attend 2-year colleges and 13.2 million attend 4-year universities.

Here’s another interesting statistic, 25 percent of white and Asian college students are the first in their families to attend college; 41 percent of black college students are first-generation; and for Latinos it’s 61 percent.

For many of the first-generation college students there is a thing called the “hidden curriculum,” that according to an article in The Atlantic is “the mix of bureaucratic know-how and sound study skills that can make or break a student’s first year in college.” This means that many students are navigating the waters of a college education with no experienced guidance from home.

For example they have no guidance on registering for classes, on best study habits, the availability of tutoring resources or applying for financial aid.

And on this last example there is one simple task that can make a student’s college experience easier and less of a burden – it’s registering with the U.S. Selective Service.

There’s a direct relationship, because all males between 18 and 26 years of age living in the U.S. must register, it’s the law. And if they don’t they won’t be eligible for federal student financial aid.

For many first-generation Latino college students the issue of residency can be an obstacle as well, but there is no worry here, because the Selective Service does not ask for residency status and the information collected in the registration form is not shared with other government agencies.

And there are future repercussions as well, because failing to register will make a man ineligible for a job with the federal government, and  U. S. citizenship procedures could be delayed.

The good news is that registering with the U.S. Selective Service is easy. If you’re a male between 18 and 26 and haven’t registered, click HERE to register, or go to www.sss.gov. You’ll get the information you need to register and a link to register then and there.

If you have a son, friend or family member who is 18 and hasn’t registered with the Selective Service, remind them to do it, it could help their education and play a big role in their future plans.

Remember, it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s the law.



[Photo by Center for Hispanic Excellence: La Casa Latina/Flickr]

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