Academic Services

Facts About First-Generation College Students

The Center for First-Generation Student Success defines first-generation college students as students who come from families where neither one of the biological parents completed a four-year college degree.

This includes students with parents who attended two-year community colleges, parents who started but did not complete a bachelor’s degree, and students with older siblings who are pursuing/completed their bachelor’s degree.

  • 33% of students pursuing higher education are the first in their family to attend college. (US Department of Education)
  • 60% of first-gen college students enter the workforce after graduation. (National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2006)
  • 23% of first-gen college students pursue graduate studies. (National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2006)
  • 81% of first-gen college students reported financial stability as their goal for attending college. (First in My Family, HERI, 2007)
  • Famous first-gen college graduates include Michelle Obama, Ben Carson, Sonia Sotomayor, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Clinton, and many more!
  • Students whose parents did not attend college are more than twice as likely to leave college within the first year. (US Department of Education). Programs like TRiO SSSP support students from college orientation to graduation.