First in their families


Bulldogs bring their futures into focus with a little help from their friends

Students who are the first in their families to attend college face heightened challenges.

“There’s a fear of the unknown,” says Adriana Alvarado, a professor in the University of Redlands School of Education who herself was the first in her family to pursue higher education. “When you don’t know someone who has been to college, you don’t know what to expect.”

Financial concerns also tend to loom large, says Alvarado, who praises U of R’s efforts to raise money for endowed scholarships: “Redlands tends to provide pretty generous financial aid, and more scholarships would be fantastic—especially if students receive the message that the price tag on the website is not actually what’s going to come out of their pockets.”

Across the nation, first-generation college-bound students are confronted with daunting odds. According to the First Generation Foundation, 89 percent of those who manage to arrive on campus leave within six years without a degree.

But at the University of Redlands, first-generation college-bound students tell a strikingly different story. Tapping an array of resources—from caring faculty to endowed scholarships, from targeted orientation to peer-to-peer mentorship—most of these Bulldogs not only graduate, but grow and thrive.

Read more about U of R’s first-generation students and programs:

  1. Returning the favor
  2. Summer program provides bridge to college for first-generation students
  3. First in their families: By the numbers
  4. Counting his blessings
  5. Taking it to the next level
  6. Rochford Program starts early in supporting high-need, low-income students on road to achievement
  7. Mentors help business students find success and self-confidence

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