Catholic Higher Education and First Generation Students

In 2012, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the U.S. Department of Education found that almost a third of current undergraduates are considered first-generation college students. Driven by their faith-based mission, ACCU member institutions have developed a breadth of resources for first-generation students, as well as the administration, faculty, and staff who work with them.

In the Summer 2015 issue of Update, ACCU featured several success stories of Catholic colleges and universities’ service towards their first-generation and low-income students. ACCU also has dedicated a webpage to share information on serving first-generation students. Here are a few examples of programs ACCU members have instituted:

  • St. Mary’s College (CA) offers a High Potential Sphere of Success program, a federally funded TRIO Student Support Services Program, which is designed to cultivate the success of first-generation and low-income students through leadership development, peer mentoring, and financial support.
  • Silver Lake College of the Holy Family (WI) has adopted the Work College model, where all incoming residential freshman or transfer students will be required to work ten hours per week in a field related to their coursework, in exchange for $2,800 tuition credit per year.
  • Notre Dame de Namur University (CA) supports its first-generation students through a Bill Hannon Foundation grant for their Gen 1 program, which provides financial and academic support, as well as mentoring.

Read more examples on the ACCU website.

What does your college or university do to support first generation and low income students? Let us know!