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Tips for First-Generation students



Remember, you’re not alone.

Almost 35 percent of ASU students are the first in their families to go to college. Many faculty and staff at ASU are also first-generation and know what you’re going through.


Connect with your success coach.

Many of our coaches are also first-gen students and can offer the inside scoop on thriving at ASU. Schedule an appointment with your coach by calling us at 480-965-3289.


Build your dream team.

Challenge yourself to find at least three people you don’t know this semester (peers AND faculty and staff). Introduce yourself, share with them your goals, worries and aspirations and see what advice they have to offer.


Practice makes perfect.

Successful people don’t just rely on talent alone - they practice, ask for help, get coaching and they constantly prepare for success. Whether it’s using tutoring or going to faculty office hours, ASU has lots of resources and support systems for you.


Try and try again.

Let’s face it, college can be challenging. When times get tough, think about what got you here, where you want to go, your reason for continuing forward and keep at it!


Embrace who you are.

Your perspective and your experiences matter and you deserve to share them.


Get involved, but also make sure not to overload yourself.

College is the opportunity to continue pursuing your passions or finding something new to try! 


Don’t doubt yourself.

You belong here just as much as the person next to you. Never doubt how you got here or your place in the ASU community.

Game Changers

game changer: noun

1: a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way.

2: a person or thing that dramatically changes the course, strategy, character or outcome.

Are you a first-generation student?

Did either of your parents complete a four-year college degree?

If you answered no, then you are a first-generation college student. Congratulations on taking the game-changing step to be the first in your family to receive a bachelor’s degree!

Game Changers is an initiative within ASU’s First-Year Success Center that is designed for first-generation students. As a participant in Game Changers, you get:

  • Matched to a success coach who will give you personalized support throughout your first year at ASU.
  • Exclusive invitations to events designed to propel you to success.
  • Guidance growing your network and community of support at ASU.
  • Connections with staff, faculty and ASU leaders who are also first-generation.

Want to make sure you’re a part of Game Changers? Contact us at 480-965-3289 

ASU Resources



Student experience

First-generation focused website

I’m First

Go College! Now

First in the Family

Black First-Gen Collective

Center for First-Generation Student Success


First-generation focused articles

YA 2018 Booklist: First-Generation Tales

Books about First-Generation College Students

First in the Family: Your College Years: Advice about College from First Generation Students by Kathleen Cushman

First Generation film


First-generation videos about identity, experiences, and tips



What’s It like to Be a First-Generation College Student
First in My Family: Supporting First-Generation College Students
First-Generation College Celebration (2019)
What does it mean to be first-generation? Golden Conversations
First Generation Students - Ted Talk
Michelle Obama’s Message to First-Generation College Students
First-Generation Students at ASU (2016)