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First generation

Student Life

What it Means to be a First-Gen College Student

April 14, 2022
First college graduate

The world is a very different place today than it used to be thanks to technological advancements. Many jobs in the workforce require skills that can only be acquired in higher education more than in the past. Because of this, the student population is more diverse than ever before, comprised of working-class families made up of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

37.5% of the U.S. population aged 25 and older had a college-level education in 2020, a significant increase from only 7.7% of Americans who had graduated from college in 1960.

What is a First-Generation College Student?

The vocabulary in higher education often feels overwhelming, especially if that world is not only new to you but also to your family. There are terms and nicknames for just about anything, like many things in life.

A first-generation college student, or a first-gen, is someone whose parents didn’t attend a four-year university or attempted some college but didn’t complete their degree.

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