When beginning the journey to college, not having parents who went to college in the US or at all can be daunting. Figuring out the application and financial aid process will be more difficult for you because you’re one of the first, if not THE first, in your family to go through the process. Fortunately, you’re not alone and there are a lot of perks to being a part of this community.
Definition of "First Generation"
Different colleges will define the term “First Generation” in different ways, so check with your school to determine this. However, you will generally fall within this category if neither of your parents graduated with a four-year college degree, also known as a bachelor’s degree. So, if you do fall into this category and you don’t really know how to begin, make sure to ask your Money Mentor! They can advise you on how/when to fill out the FAFSA, what extracurriculars to put on your college application, and much more!
Resources On Campus
Many colleges will have advising offices, special housing, and special bridge programs dedicated to helping first generation students succeed in their college careers. Ask your college adviser in an email or ask during orientation for more information. Specialized housing and programs may require some kind of application, so make sure to ask well in advance! Many colleges also offer scholarships specifically for first generation students, so make sure to ask about those as well.
Here are a few sites with valuable information: