First generation college students are typically identified as students whose parents have no college or university experience. They are often the first in their families to graduate from college. These students come to college with many strengths, including motivation, resilience, responsibility, and commitment.
An increasing number of first generation students are attending Towson University. According to national research, first generation students are more likely to attend school part-time, delay entering after their high school graduation, and work while attending college. A large number of first generation students are women, over age 24, racial or ethnic minorities, and may come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Although first generation students often receive financial support at the university, they may not always receive the emotional support that is needed to complete their degrees.
Given the strengths of first generation students, some may be reluctant to seek help, particularly counseling. However, like most students, they are also likely to benefit from the utilization of campus resources. Some of the challenges that first generation students may face include:
Pressure to select certain majors
Conflicting obligations, e.g. school, work, and family
Increased awareness of minority status
Lack of understanding from family and friends about college culture
Different levels of academic preparation
The concerns referenced above can prove to be challenging in the academic and social adjustment of college students. As such, several resources are available to aid in the overall experience of first generation students. One might consider utilizing the resources below to: