Student Resources_First Generation Student Support
Review this document to gain tips for first-generation students.
Who are First-Generation (First-Gen) Students?
Generally, you’re considered a first-generation college student if you’re the first in your family to attend (or complete) college. Some colleges may have different definitions for first-gen students, such as those whose parents did not attend college but whose siblings did attend college.
What are Some Tips for First-Gen Students?
There are many ways to succeed in college as a first-gen student. Here are some of the strategies you might consider.
Plan for those key areas of college that you will need to be successful in earning your degree. These include areas such as financial aid, housing, course scheduling, tutoring, and other areas that will help you navigate college. When you plan, think about contingencies in case you run into unexpected challenges.
Check to see if your college has a first-gen organization and/or mentorship program. Some colleges offer mentoring between first-gen faculty or staff and new first-gen students to help manage multiple aspects of college life. Consider getting involved with these groups or programs.
Connect with your advisor. This person will be able to help you in your transition from high school to college or from one college to another.
Apply for scholarships that are tailored to first-gen students. These may be available through community organizations or national groups that focus on college accessibility.
Attend welcome events where you will meet other new students, some of whom will also be first-gen students.
Get involved in both classes and campus organizations. Take time to get to know your instructors and as well as those involved in clubs, athletics, music events, religious organizations, and other groups affiliated with your college.
Explore resources on campus that will help you achieve success in college. This might include your academic advisor, faculty members, professional counselors, tutors, and other support staff.
Next Steps: Check websites for colleges you’re considering and find out if they have programs for first-gen students. Ask admissions representatives about these programs as well.