Just like the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and Barack Obama, first-generation college students are breakingbarriers and beating the odds to make it to and through college.
More than 15 million students are enrolled in postsecondary institutions. Of that 15 million, nearly 30 percent (4.5 million) are low-income, first-generation students.Source: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study
Unfortunately… • Only 36% of first-generation college students aspire to a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 78% for whom at least one parent has a bachelor’s degree • 45% take the SAT or ACT, compared to 82% for whom at least one parent has a bachelor’s degree • Only 26% apply to a four-year institution, compared to 71% for whom at least one parent has a bachelor’s degree • Only 29% of first-generation students enroll in any postsecondary institution immediately after high school graduation, compared to 73% of students whose parents have a bachelor’s degree • Only 11 percent will graduate with a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to 55 percent of non-first-gen students.Source: National Postsecondary Student Aid Study
For students who don’t have a family history ofhigher education, being among the firstgeneration in your family to attend andcomplete college requires support, advice andencouragement sometimes not found athome, school, or the community.Center for Student Opportunity’s I’m First appwill become that community by offeringsupport, advice and encouragement to the nextgeneration of students who will be first. WWW.IMFIRST.ORG
About Center for Student Opportunity• National nonprofit based in Bethesda, MD• Founded in 2005• Mission to empower first-generation college students to and through college• We create tools and resources to help first-generation college students and their supporters— parents, counselors, and mentors—on the road to and through college• We partner with over 160 colleges and universities to strengthen and build awareness of their efforts to serve and support first-generation college students
Program History• For six years we have operated CSO College Center, an online college search tool for first-generation college students• In 2012, inspired by the It Gets Better project, we conceived and began developing Im First, a national campaign and web application designed to celebrate and support first- generation college students• Im First will be a complete re-branding of CSOs online programs and will replace CSO College Center
Program History cont’d• CSO annually publishes and distributes the College Access & Opportunity Guide, a unique college guidebook designed to help first-generation college students make their college dreams a reality.• Since 2008, we have sold and distributed 20,000 books to schools and youth-serving organization across the country.• We award $2,000 four-year renewable scholarships to first-generation college students who attend CSO partner institutions.• The now 34 scholarship winners blog on our site to chronicle their college experiences and give advice to aspiring first-generation college students. The blog will be a key feature of the Im First web app.• In recognition of our innovative scholarship program, we were recently recognized by Fastweb and the National Scholarship Providers Association as 2012 Scholarship Provider of the Year.