Are You A First-Generation College Student If Your Sibling Went To College

There are different sets or classes of students in the college population at large,  example of the students are the first-generation college student and also the non-first-generation college student, The first-generation college students are at a greater risk of going to college unprepared compared to the non-first-generation college student and that is what we would be discussing in the article below. So lets begin with Are You A First-Generation College Student If Your Sibling Went To College.

Are You A First-Generation College Student If Your Sibling Went To College

Are you a first-generation college student if your sibling went to college?

Technically, you are.  Let us take a look at what we understand as first-generation college students. It is simply when a student becomes the first person to attend college and hence, graduate as a degree holder. This doesn’t mean the student’s parents or grandparents didn’t attend college,  they did and they also took part in the college experience but due to one reason or the other they didn’t wait to complete their degree in the end.

For instance, Your grandparent’s generation went to college but didn’t complete the degree, and likewise, the generation of both of your parents and their other siblings, if you have one ( they are referred to as your aunt or your uncle ) due to one reason or the other that would be discussed further in this article, they are also not chanced to complete their degree course but you, your siblings and your cousin(s) (your aunt or uncle child(ren)) are the third generations that went to college and the outstanding thing is that you were able to not only go but to also complete college degree. Though you are of your family’s third-generation, you are also your family’s first-generation college student even if your siblings or cousin(s) went to college before you.

How come the third generation in a family becomes a first-generation college student?

As we have learned thus far in the article, our grandparents are the first generation and the generation of our parents are the second while the third generation is that of us, so what happened, how come the last two generations went to college but history occurred they didn’t complete the degree, what is the reason behind their set back, how does them not going affect the current generation that details are what we will dive at below.

Reasons behind the previous generation’s setback?

lack of financial support

Over the years, studies show that for a student to be able to complete their degree it all depends on their social and economic background. A student whose parent owns a rundown breakfast or dinner business is already on the verge of dropping out If there is no external support, this is a result of the parent looking for money to run the business before it burns out.

An unstable mindset

A person with a mindset that is easy to convince will find it easy to quit college. Anyone will agree that the population of students comes from different classes,  tribes, beliefs, and also different backgrounds,  let us say the belief system of a student A is that school isn’t easy or school is a scam while the belief system of student B is that I don’t need a college degree to land a job or to make it in life, A student C that is already struggling with balancing external work and also school assignment will find it easy to be lured in that wrong mindset and gradually the student starts thinking and acting like them.

An unexpected life situation

The truth is life happens all the time but what makes everybody different is how we react to the situation. A student who shares a unique bond with his/her guardian and unfortunately, the guardian collapsed and got terminally ill as diagnosed by the doctor is bound to lose focus, even if the student has an already made trust fund the student will find it quite challenging to focus in school and thus it will affect academic performances and that will encourage the student to drop out to take care of the guardian and hence not completing the degree.

A broken relationship or unexpected pregnancy

Finding love in college is a very common thought of students but what happens when the love turns to hatred or obsession then it leads to heartbreak or unnecessary grievance and this won’t allow the student to focus on school work and later in the end the heartbreak causes an unintended setback in college. But sometimes Instead of hatred or obsession, it can lead to an unexpected pregnancy and how can an expecting mother focuses on school when she’s already focusing on her raging hormones.

Characteristics of a first-generation college student?

  • They come from a family of low-income rate thereby making them have little or no financial support and thus making them a working student.
  • They tend to report lower educational expectations than their peers even right from middle school
  • They require external developmental education compared to their peers due to their attending college not prepared 
  • There is little to no parent involvement in their extra-curricular activities.


         In conclusion, being a first-generation college student has its pros and cons for the student and also the extended family at large. Among the pros of being a first-generation is that it creates a sense of accomplishment, It improves the family’s mentality and sometimes it improves the standard of living of the family.  The cons are student struggles with their belief compared to that of their peers because 90% of students tend to believe or look up to the action of their parents. Above all, financial support and perseverance can go a long way in a first-generation college student’s success.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Are they any hidden positives to being a first-generation college student?

Yes, there is, I mentioned earlier in my conclusion that it creates a sense of accomplishment in the family and not only that your parents will be proud of you.

  • Are there any organizations or resources that can help improve the lifestyle of first-generation college students?

Some colleges have separate or additional funds and resources that can help (you can also look under TRIO GRANTS for better knowledge).

  • Can the last generation’s educational background affect the success of first-generation college students?

Studies show that the higher the education of parents the easier their children’s success. so yes, I will say your parent’s educational background is an essential factor in your success.