For any student, getting into college involves a lot of preparation and work-standardized tests, letters of recommendation, admissions forms, financial aid, and so on. If you are a "first-in-my-family" student, preparing for college could involve jumping even more hurdles.
Preparing for college is a long process that should begin as early as junior high, according to many experts. If your parents attended college, they can give you guidance on how to navigate this process - what classes to take, how to manage all the tests and forms, how to pick a school, and so on.
If you are the first in your family to attend college, you might not have that kind expertise available at home.
If your parents went to college outside the U.S. and immigrated here, they may not be able to provide the advantage of first-hand knowledge of the U.S. college application process.
The cost of going to college has been outpacing inflation, making it more expensive for everyone to attend college.
For some students, the price seems to put a college education beyond their reach.
If you are one of those students — especially if you are the first in your family to attend college - you may need reassurances that price isn't a barrier.
Experts report the best way to overcome financial obstacles is to develop a college financing strategy well in advance. Low-income families need the most help developing that strategy.
If you are from a low-income family, you may feel pressured to choose between attending college or supporting your family. Part-time classes might be the way to go.
If you defer college to work, you can always go back to school. Continuing education is tailored for those over age 24.
There's time to fulfill family obligations and to earn a college degree. In the end, though, a college education could benefit your family by improving your chances to get a better-paying job. So weigh your options carefully.