Webster Celebrates Its First-Generation Students for a Day of National Recognition

Webster University is celebrating the successes of its students who are the first in their immediate families to attend college. The recognition is part of the “First Generation College Celebration,” created in 2017 and held every Nov. 8 to raise awareness of successes of those who broke the class barriers and were the first in their house to attend an institution of higher education.

At Webster University, that’s a significant portion of the entire student body. According to the most recent data, 36.2% of all first-time, full-time degree-seeking freshman on the Webster Groves campus this year self-identified as the first in their home to go to college on their applications. This is an increase of more than 5% over the past five years.

Out of all undergraduate students on the Webster Groves campus, 28.7% say they are the first in their families to pursue a degree. And worldwide – including all undergraduate and graduate students at all of Webster’s locations around the world, 11% of Webster students say they are the first to attend college.

In other words, one out of every 10 Webster students at any campus, and one out of every four undergraduates on the Webster Groves campus, is the first in their family to go to college.

Because of the high percentage of first-generation students, Webster offers numerous resources to help them succeed. These include the Reeg Academic Resource Center, which offers academic counseling, tutoring and numerous other services that helps students acclimate to a collegiate environment, to the Transitions and Academic Prep Program and numerous services for transfer students. Both TAP and transfer students tend to have high percentages of first-generation students.

The inaugural First-Generation College Celebration was launched in 2017 by the Council for Opportunity in Education to raise awareness of the challenges faced by first-generation students. Nov. 8 was picked as the official day to celebrate as that marks the anniversary of the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

To learn more about services offered to Webster students, visit the Reeg Academic Resource Center page. To learn more about the First-Generation College Celebration, visit NASPA’s page about the recognition.

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