Project Opportunity: Access to Washington's Colleges'

“I was born and raised in Mexico. I always knew I would attend college, but the word “college” was never spoken in my family until they learned I was determined to attend college. Financial aid is helping me reach my goals, for without it, I wouldn't be here.”

— Luis Herrera
Whitman College


First Generation Students

Getting to College

Many colleges define their mission as reaching out to first generation students (students whose parents didn't go to college) or students who might not have done well in high school, but nevertheless want to continue to college.

There are lots of resources for you to use in learning more about college. A good one is this site. The internet also has a wealth of information. Sites like Gear Up and College is Possible have lots of information that will help you figure out how you can get to school. Here are a few more pointers that might help you.

  • Look for schools that specifically mention reaching out to first generation students.
  • Enrich your spare time with extracurricular activities. These show colleges that you are a multifaceted and independent person with strong interests.
  • Look into the kinds of scholarships that are available to you. Many scholarships focus on giving aid to those who wouldn't be able to pay for college otherwise.
  • Talk to people you know who have been to college. Ask them questions about their experience.
  • Call college admission offices. These offices will have lots of information for you to use.
  • Talk to college admission counselors when they visit your school or town. Ask them how they can help you apply for admission and receive financial aid.
Funded in part by a grant from
the Ben B. Cheney Foundation
published by Independent Colleges of Washington