Tips to Become a Successful First-Generation College Student

Find a mentoring program that meets your needs.  

Prepare for the increased academic demands faced in college.

Attend class regularly, read before class, take thorough notes, complete all class assignments, and participate in study groups. 

Meet with professors or teaching assistants outside of class in order to follow up on questions about course material.

Use the services available on campus: Tutoring, Writing Center, Academic Advising & Career Services, Disability Resources.

Develop effective time management strategies. Find a calendar system that works and keep track of due dates and tasks that need to be accomplished.

Get connected and involved on campus.  At college, learning and growth happens both inside the classroom and outside of it.  Find extracurricular activities related to your major.

Balance working a job for the money with higher-impact activities.   Research indicates that students who participate in study abroad experiences, service learning, undergraduate research, and internship activities are more engaged on campus and more likely to complete their degree.  Relevant job experiences and network building is critical for the post-college job seeker.

Seek help when you recognize a problem.  Too often, first-generation college students try to do it all alone and do not seek help.  Seeking help is not a weakness; rather it is a sign of strength, resilience, and persistence.  And it can greatly impact your ability to succeed at NAU.

 High School vs. College

Memorize material     Apply, create, analyze material
Work done in classMost work done outside of class
Consistent schedule     Inconsistent schedules
Many tests, quizzes, and projects2 or 3 tests or projects (high stakes)