First Generation

Who is a First Generation Student?

At College of DuPage, students are considered "First Generation" if one or both of their parents/legal guardians:

  • Did not attend a four-year college/university.
  • Attempted some college, but did not complete a bachelor's degree.
  • Attended a community college, a technical school, or an institution in another country.
  • Did attend college, but you (the student) have lived away from them for more than half of your life.
  • You are an adult student (20 +) AND you meet one of the above.

We are excited for you to join the College of DuPage community! Here are 5 tips for a new First Generation Student starting at College of DuPage:

  1. The best way to learn about the process and opportunities at College of DuPage is to attend the three First Generation events. These sessions build off of each other. However, if you miss one, feel free to join us at the next session we are offering at College of DuPage.
  2. Stay in contact with your Admissions Representative. We are here to help you every step of the way! 
  3. Ask questions! Making assumptions can cause you to miss out on a great opportunity!
  4. Take pride in being a First Generation student! Don't let the pressure stress you out. Build your support system on campus from the very beginning. 
  5. DO NOT procrastinate. It may affect your financial options and your course selection.

Join us for our First Generation Student Series

Throughout the year we will be hosting a variety of events that will help First Generation students navigate the enrollment process at College of DuPage. If you're interested in attending one (or all!) of these sessions, click on the date listed below.

To register, you must create a profile on our application portal. Once you have a username/password, you can register for the event online or by calling (630)942-2626.

First Generation Information Session for New Students

Date: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Student Services Center, SSC 3245

Students will be given an introduction to the college admission process. This session will explain the difference and misconceptions between:

  • Attending a university vs. attending a community college.
  • Pursuing a transfer track vs. joining the workforce.
  • Financial Aid & scholarships
  • How ACT/SAT test scores, High school diploma, GED & foreign High school credentials are used for admission.

Students will leave this session feeling better prepared to navigate the enrollment process at College of DuPage. This session is FREE to attend. 


Financing College 101 for First Generation Students

Date: Thursday, Dec. 12 2019 OR Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Student Resource Center, SRC 2024

This session will be an in depth presentation on tips and tricks to financing your education. Students will learn about:

  • Budgeting for college.
  • Applying for FAFSA.
  • How FAFSA works at College of DuPage.
  • Calculating tuition & other expenses.
  • Payment Options (payment plans & Scholarships).
  • Resources for undocumented, DACAmented or mixed-status families.

Students should leave this session feeling more knowledgeable about how to better finance their education. This session is FREE to attend.


Understanding Next Steps for First Generation Students

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020
Time: 6 to 8 p.m.
Location: Student Resource Center, SRC 2000

This session will prepare students for their next steps in the enrollment process. Students will hear from:

  • Counseling & Advising Services: What happens at NSAR (New Student Advising and Registration)? Understanding placement tests/scores, course selection & the importance of self-care.
  • Learning Commons: Tutoring services, placement test preparation, & other available workshops.
  • Student Financial Assistance: Understanding the Financial Aid Award Letter and important requirements.

Presentation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. There will be an optional workshop time from 7 to 8 p.m. Representatives will be available to assist you with completing your COD application, setting up your myACCESS, submitting your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), reviewing your financial aid award letter or addressing any additional questions you may have.

Please note: Students will not be meeting with an Academic Counselor to select classes during this event.

This session is FREE to attend.