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First-Generation Students

TLU: A First-Gen Forward University

While a first-generation college student is defined as an individual whose parents or legal guardian have not completed a bachelor's degree, first-generation students are so much more. They are trailblazers. Risk takers. Pioneers. They also make up more than half of TLU's student body, and many faculty and staff (including President Cottrell) are also first generation.

In early 2020, TLU was selected as an official First-Gen Forward University, joining less than 160 other institutions across the nation. While the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that 30 percent of all entering college freshmen are first generation, more than half of all TLU students identify as first generation.

More Than Half Of TLU Students Are First Generation
76% Of Hispanic Students Are First Generation

As part of the Center For First-Generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA and The Suder Foundation, TLU students have access to a community of professionals prepared to share resources, help with navigating through the application and financial aid process, and generate knowledge for the advancement of first-generation students.

Since this is such a fast-growing and critically important population at TLU, seeking best practices to address students' specific needs is a key focus for university administration.

The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that 30 percent of all entering college freshmen are first generation. In fall of 2014, 45 percent of TLU’s first-year students were first generation, but by 2018, that number increased to 65 percent, a 20 percent increase in just four years.

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