First-generation college students are individuals whose parents did not attend college or obtain a degree. They often have unique needs and challenges when compared to students whose parents have attended college.

Some of the unique needs of first-generation college students include:

  • Navigating the college system: First-generation students may be unfamiliar with the college application process, financial aid options, and other aspects of college life. They may need extra support and guidance in order to navigate the system.
  • Academic support: First-generation students may not have had the same level of academic support and preparation that their peers had, and may need extra help with studying and time management skills.
  • Financial support: Many first-generation students come from low-income families, and may need extra financial support to pay for college. They may also be unfamiliar with the financial aid process and may need assistance in understanding their options.
  • Social support: First-generation students may feel out of place in a college environment, and may need extra support to adjust to college life and make connections with peers and faculty. Understanding the culture of higher education: first-generation students may not have the same understanding of the culture of higher education as their peers who have had a parent or family member attend college, they may need extra support in understanding the expectations and norms of the college environment.
  • Mentorship: First-generation students may benefit from mentorship programs, where they are paired with a more experienced student or faculty member who can provide guidance and support as they navigate college life.
  • Support for families: Many first-generation students are the first in their families to attend college and may not have a family member who can help them navigate the college system. Support for families can be provided through informational sessions or workshops.

Not all first-generation students have the same needs and challenges. However, addressing these needs can help to ensure that first-generation students have the support they need to succeed in college.

There are several resources for available to all students on campus. The student resources webpage is available inside of every GSU Blackboard course. Academic support, student support services and online course readiness resources are designed to support all GSU students.