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What Is a First-Generation College Student?

What is a First-Generation College Student

The College Board reports that the average annual income for those who have earned a bachelor’s degree is $61,400. The unemployment rate among these graduates is only 3.1 percent—lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.7 percent. It’s possible to benefit from these facts, even if you’re the first person to go to college in your family. First-generation college students can have successful higher education outcomes, especially if they are active in high school and college prep programs, have familial support, and—most importantly—have the opportunity to assimilate into college successfully.

Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas is an education and mentoring group that aims to address that final point. By helping first-generation college students with the resources they need before and during college, we hope to steer students onward toward four-year degrees. Regardless of your background, we know each student shares the drive and desire for the lifelong success that higher education can bring.

 

Who Are First-Generation College Students?

 

First-generation college students come from families in which neither parent or guardian has received a four-year degree. If this describes you, you have plenty of company. A 2018 study by the Department of Education estimates that almost 20 percent of the US college and university student population has parents that never attended higher education. And the National Center for Education Statistics reports that 33 percent of all freshmen were determined to be first-generation students. First-generation students also often share similar backgrounds. A report on first-generation college students revealed

  • They typically come from less advantaged families.
  • Minority students make up large percentages.
  • A majority have dependents (kids).
  • Many do not speak English as their first language.
  • They are often older than their peers.

 

What Obstacles Do First-Generation College Students Face?

 

Unfortunately, there are several challenges that prospective first-generation college students face—and the biggest might be just making it to campus. The more education a student’s parents have, the more likely it is that they’ll enroll in college. In fact, a National Center for Education Statistics study in 2001 found that, of students whose parents had graduated high school, 54 percent went to college after graduation. Meanwhile, only 36 percent of students whose parents had less education than a high school diploma enrolled.

Once a prospective student decides to apply, difficulties unique to their situation show up, ranging from unfamiliarity with the application process to a lack of familial support and general financial instability. After a student is enrolled, other problems may emerge, like low academic self-esteem or difficulty adjusting to college life, both of which contribute to lower graduation rates.

Assistance for First-Generation College Students in Las Vegas

Fortunately, there are many opportunities specifically for Las-Vegas-based first-generation college students, from national scholarships to Nevada-based scholarships and grants. Most importantly, Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas can give first-generation college students the help they need the whole way. From education to mentoring, the mission of Fulfillment Fund Las Vegas is simple: to assist you in preparing for and fulfilling your desire to earn your college degree.