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Suzanna Leung


Experiencing Western as a first-generation college student

Even at the elementary school level, college is planted in the minds of youth as being the route to personal success. Today, 30 percent of all entering college freshman are the first in their families to enroll in college or university. Twenty-four percent of those students are low income. Without advice from their parents, first-generation students experience roadblocks with the application process and seeking aid. Many balance their schedules between work and being the first in their families to navigate a complex education system. According to the First Generation Foundation, an organization advocating for the success of first-generation college students, more than a quarter of these students drop out after their first year. Despite the odds, many of these students are pushing through to achieve their educational goals.

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