3 years ago
Admissions Advice

Am I considered a first-generation college student?

My mom has her bachelor's degree but my dad only has his GED. I would be considered a first-generation college student only on my dad's side. Do I still mark "first-generation" on my college applications?

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1 answer

3 years ago

No, you wouldn't be a first-generation college student.

According to the Higher Education Act, which determines eligibility for federal aid programs, a student is considered an FGCS if "neither" parent holds a bachelor's degree; however, this rule only applies to parents who regularly live with the student.

A broad generalization is that families that do not have a tradition of attending colleges tend to have fewer resources to prepare an HS student for college. However, this is controversial and not necessarily true since 2/3rds of American adults have not graduated from a 4-year college. There are many extremely wealthy Americans who have unlimited resources to prepare their HS kids for college. For instance, Lori Loughlin and Massimo Gianuili. They are worth over $100 million dollars and both Bella and Oliva Jade who attended Marymount Private HS in LA would be considered First Generation College Students. This is an extreme example but you get my point. There are plenty of people in Law enforcement, Civil Servants, Hospitality workers who make 6 figure incomes who hold only an HS diploma.

At the same time, there are many social workers who have Masters's Degrees who don't make very much money in their line of work. So in theory, they have much less financial pocket money to afford to send their kids to SAT/ACT tutoring or give them their own laptops, etc. but they are smart as heck.

Hope this is helpful to you.

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