Research Project: Schools and Programs design for first-generation students.

Thomas Munoz Vasquez

English Composition II

Research Project 


First-generation students are considered to be those who don’t have parents with any type of higher education, “About 20 percent of all undergraduate students in colleges and universities around the United States were first-generation college students in 2015(Accredited Schools Online)”.  The amount of first-generation students attending college is significant. Their experience might be overwhelming for some of these students, making us question the schools and programs that serve first-generation students to help them succeed in college.

There are various universities for first-generation college students; they provide different options for the careers these students would like to specialize in. In the article “The best colleges for first-generation college students” provide us with a bit of narrative about a first-generation college student who earned her bachelor’s degree with the help and support of Cornell University. “They work closely with undergraduate admissions to recruit students from the underrepresented groups. (The best Colleges)” it also provides a financial aid for these groups, including first-generation students. This university is an excellent example of many others giving different programs and opportunities for first-generation programs; many of these universities have financial aid programs since most first-generation students come from low-income or middle-income families. 

While many universities have programs for first-generation students, they all have a different way to help them succeed. Trinity University is an example; they provide financial resources and any other resources a student could face in this stage but what made them stand out is The allies program. “Allies… implemented an early move-in program that allowed first-generation… students to move in one day before the rest of the students. (The best Colleges)” it allows students and parents to navigate the campus’s different opportunities, such as health services, counseling, and more. It also allows the student to get more comfortable around campus to lessen the stress for the student. 

“89 percent of first-generation college students that come from low-income households leave college after six years without completing their degrees(Accredited School Online)”. The little guidance and college lifestyle is challenging for first-generation students and can be challenging for universities too. Texas Tech University focuses on increasing the graduation rates for first-generation students with the PEGASUS program. It “seeks to make the transition for first-generation students successful by assigning first-year students a mentor(The best Colleges).” it is a helpful program because it provides the students with somebody who can help them surpass many of the challenges. Still, it also can help them to develop relationships in college. 

Caring for these students is what makes Colorado State University a good option for first-generation students. It has the First Generation Award created to encourage students to attend college and promote diversity since it nearly enrolls more than 30,000 students a year. What makes it different from others is the end of the year banquet, where many first-generation students are an honor for making it throughout the year. In an interview with Mary Ontiveros, the CSU” vice president, she stated, “The message given is pretty clear: we care about you, we want you to be successful, and we’re here for you(The best Colleges)” and this is something some universities lack to offer; a sense of community for these students.

These are only some of the best universities that provide good support for first-generation students; there are plenty more universities where students can succeed. Encouraging these students is essential for the nation as it helps to amplify educated people into the workforce and increases the opportunities for future generations. A university’s tools to first-generation students demonstrate the diversity in campuses since first-generation students come from different cultural backgrounds and economic statuses. After all, it is up to these students to research and decide what university provides the best for them. Being a first-generation student can be challenging where there is a lack of resources to succeed.


“Are You a First-Generation College Student?” Accredited Schools Online, April 15, 2021.


Center for First-Generation Student Success,2020. 

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