Life As A First-Generation College Student

According to a study by the Higher Education Research Institute, one in six college students in 2005 were first generation college students. These students came from a household where neither parent (or even grandparents) have a college degree. First-generation students may be less likely to know about the college application process and college traditions, so extra student support from college representatives may be helpful. If you are the first member of your family to pursue a higher education, here's what you can expect in a college program:

first generation college studentWorking Hard
Everyone is expected to work hard in school, but you may feel a bit of extra pressure from your parents, especially if they encouraged you to attend college. You don't want to disappoint them, which could make you worry more than you have to about your academic performance. Keep in mind that if you were accepted into school, there shouldn't be a reason to doubt your capabilities.

If you're covering your own college tuition, you may find that working through school is necessary, whether part-time or full-time. You may have to be creative about scheduling in order to fit everything in.

Mixed Emotions
It's completely normal to be excited and a little anxious about college, but you may feel slightly more so because of the pressure to succeed. Just remember that you deserve to be at school and your parents will love you no matter what happens. Keep a positive outlook and never be afraid to ask for help from peers, your instructors, and your college's support staff.

You may feel a bit guilty about being the only one in your family who is getting an education - especially if you see your parents working so hard to make a living at home. Instead of letting these feelings slow you down, put your efforts into your work so you can make the best of your own situation. Keep in mind that when you are armed with a college degree, you are improving your chances of career success and stability!

Get Support
It's important to surround yourself with a strong support system, which can include your family, friends, instructors, and classmates. If you share what you're going through, you may find that they can help you adjust. Consider joining groups and clubs on campus so you can stay involved and have plenty of resources.

Remember that time management is essential, especially if you're planning to juggle school, family, and work all at once. If you ever find yourself struggling, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Financial aid assistance, career services, tutoring, and academic advisors are all there for you to utilize, so take advantage of them.

Rasmussen College Blog Team

This article was transcribed by the Rasmussen College Blog team. Are you ready to take the plunge into a new, successful future? If so, learn more about our degree programs today.

Rasmussen College logo

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

Add your comment


Please enter your name.


Please enter your email.


Please enter your comment.


icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x