Financial Aid for First-Generation Students and Their Families Needs


Paying for the high tuition fees for undergraduate and, moreover, postgraduate studies is becoming increasingly difficult for families of students, especially of the first generation. It is young people who are former in their family to enter a university. According to the Institute for National Postsecondary Education Policy, 50 percent of students are those whose parents did not attend college (Gilbert, 2019). While there are many resources to find financial assistance, it is often troublesome for many to create a strategy, which will help them obtain funding in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. It is especially actual for first-generation students since their parents did not have a similar experience.

The common needs of first-generation students include maintenance themselves in an educational institution during the academic year. This population requires to provide accommodation and food during the academic year, for the reason of which they can contract with the institution. The demands also comprise books, laptops, supplies, which are necessary for training and transportation. Personal necessities include washing clothes, attending social events, personal hygiene, mobile communications, and others.

Best Addressing Needs of a Hypothetical Student Population

No one should be refused an opportunity to pursue higher education due to a lack of funds to pay for housing, tuition, and food. Sources of financial assistance for addressing first-generation students’ needs are federal, state, and institutional funds and programs. A first-generation student at a high school is eligible for one or more types of funding. In particular, the federal government provides students with scholarships, grants, and loans. They include, in particular, Federal Pell Grants and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), which can be used to pay for housing, tuition, meals, and miscellaneous supplies (“Federal grants,” n.d.). However, it may be required that funds be returned in whole or in part. It can happen in case of leaving the institution before graduation or receiving additional grants or scholarships, which reduces the need for federal assistance.

Institutional sources also include grants, scholarships, and student Costs of Attendance (COA). In addition, first-generation students can find a grant program specially designed for them. Universities and colleges across America often advertise it as First in Family Scholarships. In this case, it should be noted that some educational institutions disqualify those whose parents have not received a bachelor’s degree, but aunts, uncles, grandparents, and grandmothers have obtained.

Best Methods and Community Resources to Communicate and Provide Information to Population

The best methods to communicate with the first-generation students and provide the necessary information comprise several ways. In particular, it includes specially organized online workshops within frameworks of financial assistance program, creating a video on YouTube, sending messages with the required materials by e-mail. Another way to communicate with the student population is to create pages and groups in social networking. In addition, in order for the proposed program to reach populations of different linguistic cultures, translators from Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and other languages will be required. It will make the program suitable for multicultural first-generation students and their families. Community material and financial resources, which can help to provide information, are the Annuity and George Lucas Educational Foundation, and apart from it, representatives from colleges.

Types of Information, Resources Hypothetical Student Population Needs to Know

Information, which the first-generation students need to know about the financial aid process, includes primarily the federal, state, and institutional funds and programs described earlier. Some helpful resources for it are the College Board and Federal Student Aid sites. To successfully search for scholarships, it is necessary to acquire information about their various types. A source for it would be a comprehensive ebook Scholarship Search Secrets written by Christopher Penn.

Further, students should understand the process of applying for financial aid and two formulas, which colleges consider when determining how much a family will pay: Federal Methodologycomes (FM) and Institutional Methodologycomes (IM). For the former, young people are to be aware of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and how to fill it (Federal Student Aid, 2020). Students also need to be familiar with the basic equation by which colleges determine if people have eligibility for financial aid. It consists of the difference between COA and Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the calculation that comes from the FAFSA.

After receiving all the financial aid awards, the student will need to recognize information about comparing them to each other, the resource of which is the College Board website. The critical part is also information on what it means to borrow loans to pay for college and to understand the impact of it (“If your federal student loan,” n.d.). In addition, students may have particular situations, which need to be addressed to the college, such as loss of employment by their parents. They will require an understanding of how to write a separate letter to the college, one of the resources for which is the article How to Appeal for More College Financial Aid by Lynn O’Shaughnessy. However, in this instance, restrictions may also arise, such as re-evaluating the parent’s income. The proposed program ensures that all the listed information and useful resources are conveyed to first-generation students. It is vital for them to understand that they are fully eligible for various financial aid programs and that they are the first in their family to go to college is not an obstacle.


Federal Student Aid. (2020). Creating and using the FSA ID. Web.

Gilbert, N. (2019). Where first-gen college students can get financial aid: We made a list. Noodle. Web.

If your federal student loan payments are high compared to your income, you may want to repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan. (n.d.). Federal Student Aid. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. (2023, October 10). Financial Aid for First-Generation Students and Their Families Needs. Retrieved from


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ChalkyPapers. 2023. "Financial Aid for First-Generation Students and Their Families Needs." October 10, 2023.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Financial Aid for First-Generation Students and Their Families Needs." October 10, 2023.


ChalkyPapers. "Financial Aid for First-Generation Students and Their Families Needs." October 10, 2023.