First Generation Keystone Students
Be the first in your family!
Are you first gen? How do you even know? Typically, new college students who have no parents or siblings who have earned a college degree are considered first-generation college students. This is a great opportunity—but it also means you have to figure out how to navigate the college search and admissions process. And you may think you have to do it alone. But you don’t. Keystone College has about 40% first-generation students. This means we know how to help you and your family navigate your way through the college process. Let Keystone help you become the best college student and college graduate you can be!
You are not alone.
Our student population is about 40% first-generation students.
Read what they learned as a first-generation student.
Instructor, School of Professional Studies
“Make the most of your orientation experience! Orientation allowed me to meet other Keystone students and make connections. It helped me tremendously during the first week of school when everything was new and it was nice to see some familiar faces around campus.”
Assistant Professor, Turock School of Arts and Sciences
“My best advice is to persevere! Go to every class, and if you do not understand something, ask for help. When I was a student I worked full time and still went to physics tutoring twice a week and I made it! If my family bothered me when I needed to study, I went to the library. They couldn’t understand why it took me so long to study.”
Assistant Professor, Turock School of Arts and Sciences
“When I was a new student I made the mistake of never attending the freshmen meetings which were once a month. I missed a lot of important information! Keystone’s First Year Seminar may seem silly to you as a new freshman, but it does contain a wealth of information about college life if you will only seek it out.”
More Advice From Our First-Generation Faculty and Staff
“Pay attention to the information you are given in the early stages of the process. Get involved–join a club or student government and get to know people on campus. Connect with your professors. They often have connections with people in the field or industry you want to work in which can be helpful when you graduate.”
“College is not like high school and will require hard work and effort. Read the syllabus and understand expectations. Plan ahead and use time management skills. Get to know your professors, they are much more likely to help you if they know you are trying your best. Take advantage of the services available – career services, tutoring, writing help, etc.”
“Keep in close contact with your advisor or visit the Library, Learning, and Career Center for help with advising, tutoring, writing and searching for a job.”
“The most important part of success in College is relationships. Find those people who value what you value and who want what you want, and then hang around with them. They’ll be your touchstone for your entire college career.”
“Don’t take out more loans then you need! If you need some for living expenses that’s fine, but don’t take out the max just to go out for dinner or buy fancy things. The interest on that loan will make it a whole lot harder to pay back then if you got a work-study position or a part-time job for your extra expenses.”
“Embrace the friendships you make in college. Seek help if you need it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be in a hurry. Take it all in. Learn all you can from your fellow students and professors. Learn all you can about yourself. Think positive. Be happy. Keep an open mind. And most importantly – enjoy!”
“Take advantage of every opportunity within your program – meet the professor who specializes in the area you are interested in; attend relevant lectures to advance your knowledge; participate in research opportunities whenever possible – all of these things will make you more successful in your degree program.”
“Have a plan and stick to it. Remain focused on the end goal and do not let anything or anyone deter you. It may sound selfish, but it’s necessary, and after all is said and done, your family and friends will be proud of you.”
“If you are unsure about something or feel overwhelmed, ask for help. Find that one professor, staff member, or even coach that you are comfortable with and ask them your questions. Everyone is here to help you to succeed and asking for support will help you feel more comfortable and confident.”
What does that mean?
See our definitions of commonly used terms.
Admissions Counselors work with all prospective students throughout the entire pre-enrollment process; from the moment they inquire about Keystone College until classes begin. They will help with application procedures, financial aid, and new student orientation.
A student who lives at home, typically with their parents, and comes to campus on a regular basis for classes.
The time associated with the amount of work in a class. Each credit hour includes at least 50 minutes of classroom time plus two hours of out of class work. For example, a typical course is worth 3 credit hours. This means a student would be in class for three 50-minutes sessions or the equivalent, plus would have about 6 hours of required study/homework time to complete the work of that course.
The amount required to be paid by a student to secure their spot in the class of students coming to a college, and, if applicable, a bed in the residence halls.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a requirement of the United States Department of Education used to determine most types of financial aid. The form requires both student and parent income unless the student is independent. Keystone College uses only this form and does not require any other financial aid applications. Note: The PHEAA grant may be applied for at the end of the FAFSA.
An undergraduate student who is registered for no less than 12 credit hours each semester. Note: Billing terms and financial aid change for part-time students.
A student who is pursuing a Graduate degree, typically a Master’s or Doctorate degree.
A course that is a combination of in classroom time and online (internet) work.
The process of meeting and interacting with individuals. Typically networking is done with those who are involved in a students classes, extracurricular activities, or potential careers.
A course that is offered exclusively via the internet.
A student who lives in the residence halls on campus during the school year.
The office at Keystone College that includes the financial aid, billing, scholarship, and registrar functions. It is designed to provide one place for students and parents to get answers to all their administrative-type questions answered.
Keystone College does not require standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) to be submitted. If you choose to submit your scores, they will not hurt your admission decision and may help you earn additional scholarship money, but they are not necessary.
A student who is pursuing a Bachelor’s or Associate degree for the first time. The student may be a recent high school graduate or an older adult.
The process in which the U.S. Department of Education may randomly select students and require the school to check all financial information on the FAFSA. If verification is not completed, the student will not be eligible for aid.
First-Gen, First Fridays
An open forum for first-generation students that provides the opportunity to bond and talk about the challenges that first-generation students face on a regular basis while attending college. Scheduled for the first Friday of every month at 1 p.m.-2 p.m. in Miller Library Room 104.