Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a first-generation college student?

If neither of your parents/guardians have completed a four-year degree, you are identified as a first-generation college student at CSB/SJU.

If my siblings went to college or are in college now; am I considered a first-generation student?

First-generation status is determined solely by parents/guardians educational history; therefore, sibling degrees do not impact your status as a first-gen student. 

My parent/s went back to college and graduated recently; am I considered a first-generation student?

If your parents have completed a four-year degree before you began college, you are not considered first-generation; however, you may have experiences similar to first-generation students because your parents attended as non-traditional students. Feel free to seek out supports for your experiences and questions. 

My parent/s completed a four-year degree, but it is from a university outside of the US; am I considered a first-generation student?

If your parents/guardians completed a degree, within or outside of the US, you are not a first-generation college student; however, you may have similar experiences to first-generation students because of the differences in higher education institutions internationally. Fell free to seek out supports for your experiences and questions. 

If my parents have a Certification or Associates Degree (AA), am I considered a first-generation college student?

Yes; you are a first-generation student unless your parents have completed a four-year degree. Therefore, students whose parents attended some college, earned a 2-year degree or certification, or went to a four-year university but didn't receive a degree are all considered first-generation students. 

How does CSB/SJU find out that I am first-generation?

CSB/SJU identify your first-generation status based off of your application to the institutions. On the Common Application or the CSB/SJU Application, you are asked to indicate your first-generation status and/or your parents highest level of education. From this information, the Registrar's office stores your status as a first-generation student, which is not publicly available. 

How many students at CSB/SJU are identified as first-generation college students?

26% of the student body at CSB/SJU identify as first-generation students. This is around 940 of our roughly 3,620 undergraduate enrollment. 

How many faculty/staff members at CSB/SJU were first-generation college students?

Over 125 of our faculty and staff members identify as first-generation college students.

Does CSB/SJU offer additional scholarships for first-generation college students?

The Intercultural LEAD Scholarship is available for first-generation students and requires an application and other collegiate commitments. There are currently no general, institutional scholarships offered to all first-generation college students at CSB/SJU. 

What sets first-generation students apart from non-first-generation students?

First-generation students' parents/guardians have not completed a four-year degree. The first-gen identity can signal certain areas in which a student may need additional support. National data suggests that many first-generation students do not have as strong of supports and insights into college as their non-first-generation counterparts because their parents do not have their own experiences and understanding to share about completing a four-year degree. First-generation students can benefit from extra supports from their college/university while transitioning into and navigating the college experience. However, first-generation is not an identity that means students are unprepared; rather, many first-generation students have a significant drive and passion for education and aspire to support and bring pride to their families. Many first-generation students bring different types of expertise to the college environment and add to the diversity of the campus. 

Who can I contact if I have questions about being a first-generation college student at CSB/SJU?

First-generation students can reach out to the First-Generation Organization, Multicultural Student Services, or any connection you have on campus can direct you to a resource.