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First-Generation Frequently Asked Questions

Who are first-generation students?

AU defines first-generation as "neither parent(s)/guardian(s) have attended college." Regardless of definition, if you feel that you are the first in your family to chart college as a new territory, AU's first-generation community welcome you!

If my sibling(s) went to college, does that mean I am not first-generation?

Keeping AU's definition of first-generation in mind, it is keeping parent(s)/guardian(s) as the marker. Siblings who either are or have experienced a college experience can definitely provide insights to helping you navigate your journey, but you might still feel confused or overwhelmed. Don't worry, it's all good! CDI staff are available for one-on-one advising appointments and can provide you with additional referrals and connections as needed.

How many first-generation students are at AU?

Over 10% of American University's population consistently self-identify as the first in their family to attend college. That's right, you're not alone!

I want to learn more about ways to support first-generation students at AU, what resources do you offer?

This is great! CDI offers a workshop that provides a snapshot of AU's first-generation population. Through this workshop, participants leave knowing more about who our first-generation students are and best practices for supporting them both inside and outside the academic arena. Sign up today for our next workshop!

Are there ways to connect with others at AU who are also first-generation and at AU?

Yes! CDI is a great place to start if you are interested in speaking with others who are among the first in their family to experience college culture. Our Center also offers ways to virtually connect with the AU first-generation community through Facebook.

What if I have some suggestions for first-generation programming and/or connections? Who should I talk to and how does this work?

CDI is ready and willing to hear all about your ideas! Any of the professional staff in the office can help answer your questions, but we are also great for brainstorming what could be. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are strongly suggested. By setting up a meeting, CDI staff can listen to ideas, brainstorm, and suggest next steps.