The 10 Best Colleges For First-Generation Students

Two college students wearing face masks
Kzenon / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on Zippia.

Going to college can be scary for anyone.

But for first-generation students, it’s entirely new territory.

It can be overwhelming trying to find the best college to attend, especially when some schools do a poor job of helping first-generation students acclimate to the college environment.

There are a multitude of factors that contribute to first-generation students’ success in college. Active and supportive student organizations, personal life circumstances, financial support and academic programs are all a few areas that can contribute to student performance.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, we ranked more than 1,800 universities in three areas:

  • Percent of first-generation students who completed a degree within four years at original institution
  • Five-year repayment rate for first-generation students
  • The median debt for first-generation students

We only looked at four-year universities. While junior colleges can be an excellent choice for first-generation students (and serve as a bridge from high school to university for those who wish to go on to receive their four-year degree), we wanted to examine the colleges that do best with students from freshman year on.

So, which college should you choose? Our research found that these colleges were best, and most helpful, for first-generation students.

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