Question about Adoption and Classification of "First Generation to Attend College"

I am hopeful that someone wiser than myself can provide some advice and direction as I try to help my niece in her college applications. As a preface, my sister is a juvenile-onset diabetic with multiple complications, now on the waiting list for a combined pancreas-kidney transplant. My brother-in-law is a great guy, but not "plugged in" to the world of college admissions.....which is why I am offering to help navigate the system. </p>

<p>My niece was adopted as a newborn and my sister and brother-in -law have a lengthy biography of her birth parents, so we know that my niece's parents did not attend college. Oh the other hand, my sister is a special education teacher with a degree from Greensboro College and my brother-in-law is a grad of UNC-CH. My niece's ed.psych. evaluation confirmed a diagnosis of ADHD with visual processing disorder. Her total SAT scores so far ( M +CR+W)=1400 and weighted GPA = 3.0. She does have strong extracurriculars and is an accomplished equestrian, but I know she is facing a a major hurdle in college admissions. So...I am looking for some legitimate descriptors about my niece that may aid her in gaining admission into some of the UNC system schools, or some of the small private schools in NC, SC. or Va. </p>

<p>My question is -is it appropriate to list her as a first generation in the family to attend college, and if so, what is everyone's opinion of the weight of that characteristic on applications. Also, what are the +/- aspects of listing her learning disabilities on admissions forms?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance for everyone's valuable insight.</p>

<p>There is no way it would be appropriate to classify her as first generation. It's not about biology and genetics, but upbringing and family context.</p>

It is wonderful that you area able to help your neice through this process.</p>

<p>I would say she is NOT a first generation college app--since her family of origin is college educated.
And I think the alumni/legacey factor may be more helpful. Perhaps?</p>

<p>Definitely be sure that the psych evaluation etc is process through College Board so she gets extra time to take the SATs etc.
Also--if there is an upward trend--from before the diagnoisis--then I think perhaps its pretty important that her apps describe her journey and the work she has done to grow and achieve against a tide of difficulties..and learning challenges.</p>

<p>Going to a small nearby is a great idea. In my own personal experience, it was quite helpful for my son (also ADD) that we were nearby, especially when he had to figure out details like graduation requirements and all those sign up procedures.</p>

<p>Is it appropriate to list as 1st gen: No.
Aspects of listing her disabilities on her app: don't do it. That's not where you write about her LD. You don't want the colleges know her diagnoses before they about know her LD. Just be sure her paperwork is current, and Collegeboard has allowed for extended time.</p>

<p>Her SATs are rather low, so if she can get more test prep, have take the test again. Also consider the ACT. As for colleges, look up the book Colleges that changed lives by Loren Pope. She lists a few colleges in NC that might fit well.
[quote]</a> loren pope colleges that change lives: Books

You might want to explore Elon University, although that could be a reach. I hear they have good support services.
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<p>Thanks, everyone for your answers. My gut told me that she/we went with who had raised her versus birth family-but someone had raised the issue, and I did not want to over look it. Limabeans: thanks for your advice- as well as that of prior posts-she has enough hurdles to overcome with low scores. For some reason, my niece does not want to take advantage of extra time on the SAT-my hunch is she feels that it would make her stand out in the crowd. </p>

<p>My research at this point me toward Eastern Carolina, Western Carolina and perhaps UNC-G, and utilize her dad's legacy from Chapel Hill. UNC-Charlotte, Wilmington and Asheville all appear out of range according to their common data sets. Elon would be great IF she could bring her SAT's up and raise her GPA, then Elon would become more of a possibility</p>

<p>Thanks so much, everyone!.</p>

<p>My daughters were born to teen moms who were in high school. It never occured to me that they would be considered first generation. Despite the fact that there were huge issues with both (one did not "know" she was pregnant and took OCPs and pain meds until 9 mos and one was having her 2nd at 16 and the nutrition problems/issues were huge), they never even brought up the subject in essays or interviews. They were adopted at birth, they had story books about adoption from the time they were toddlers, grew up knowing and never had to be "told," and neither one thought it was something that would be a hook, or that they wanted to share.</p>


<p>^^Guilford...That's the one I was thinking, and in the book "Colleges that change Lives", I think. I also have a friend whose son also has LD issues and attends one of the NC universities that's not CH, and he's truly thriving.</p>