Parents of Our Students

ParentsAs a hard-working parent, you have probably heard the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it is who you know.” Today, your child will require both to be successful. He or she will need to know much more than we did, and will need to know people beyond the family circle. Your son or daughter will need connections—people who know how to locate college scholarships for example. As members of the working class, we may be able to pay the bills but may not know where to look for information about colleges, services, and scholarships that could immensely help your son or daughter.

The First Generation Foundation™ connects first-generation college students to colleges and universities and organizations dedicated to helping your child succeed.

Our volunteers organize information for easy web access and convenient retrieval. We provide services, thrive on volunteers, and require financial donations to support first- generation college students. We are first-generation college graduates. We had no one to turn to for career and college advice back when we needed advice. We had aspirations, but no answers.

We asked ourselves what we needed to do to get into a good college. Once in college, we asked what we must do to survive. When we survived, we asked what we might do to thrive. One question played in our minds over and over. What is success? How do we become successful in a land so full of opportunity and promise? We realized after it was too late that we didn’t have the right kind of connections to get the right kind of answers. Thankfully, we figured it out along the way. And now we are leaving a trail of supportive breadcrumbs, answers to you and your child’s questions, spoken or unsaid. You are following in our footsteps, and we are your guides.

New York Times Tip Sheet February 11, 2013,


Tips for First-Generation College Applicants (Parents read this article)



Dr. Michele Hernandez is the former assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth College, co-founder of Application Boot Camp On-Demand

If you’re among those who are applying to college as a first-generation student (meaning your parents never attended college) and you’re hesitant to talk about your parents’ educational attainment, you’re not alone. Thirty percent of entering freshmen in the United States are first-generation college students. First-generation students are often reluctant to identify themselves as such. They may feel slightly ashamed of the situation or think it is irrelevant.

 But instead of hiding this critical information, first-generation students should highlight it. Why? Many colleges track this nonacademic statistic. The class of 2015 at Dartmouth College has 108 first-generation students, and 14 percent of the University of Pennsylvania’s class of 2016 is comprised of first-generation college students.