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First-Generation Resources

With new experiences come new questions. We want to help answer them. We’ve put together a list of resources available to you so that you can feel ready to take on anything.

Am I a First-Generation student?

First-Generation simply means your parents or guardians have not obtained a bachelor's degree; you’re the first in your family to go to college. Whether your parents never graduated or didn’t attend college at all, being a First-Generation college student is something to be proud of! We're glad that you're considering becoming a part of the 51 community. At FPU we recognize that the transition to college is not easy. We’re here to help.

I want to attend college. How do I get started?

Applying to colleges can be an exciting yet stressful process! First, make sure you check out our to see if you’re on track with your grades, required tests and everything else you need to graduate and be college-ready. Then, visit our campus or contact our Undergraduate Admission Office to get in touch with someone who will walk you through the entire application process. They’ll make sure you get all your application requirements in on time and know what's going on every step of the way.

Will I be able to academically succeed in college?

It may seem like the courses you’ll take at 51 Pacific are a big step up from your high school classes. Thankfully, there are lots of resources available to help you in your studies. First, you’ll be assigned a faculty advisor will make sure you take the classes that are right for you. They will also help you register and make sure you’re on track to graduate. What sets our faculty apart is the amount of time and dedication that they put into each individual student's success. Chat with your professor over coffee or visit them during office hours!

You’ll also want to take advantage of . Here you can check out books, read articles, browse journals, type and print out papers, and more. If you don’t know where to start, our librarians can give you lots of great ideas and . Plus, the library is a quiet space to relax or study.

Additionally, the Academic Success Center (ASC) is one of the most valuable resources on campus. Here you’ll find tutoring services, test proctoring, academic coaching and a study lounge. The ASC tutors can teach you new study habits and help you navigate all the new aspects of college like time management and terminology. Their services are entirely free and available to all students throughout the semester.

Does FPU offer transition resources for incoming students?

CLASS (College Language and Academic Success Strategies) is an over-the-summer 1-unit course that will help you make the transition from high school to college. In CLASS you'll learn academic and college language, study and note-taking techniques, and learn how to navigate college — all while getting to know staff and faculty and gaining confidence to succeed. For more information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

How do I pay for college?

College can be less expensive than you think. Merit-and performance-based scholarships, grants, loans, and work/study opportunities can help cut down costs and make attending college a reality. At FPU, more than 98% of students receive financial aid. Your first step should be to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA determines your eligibility to receive Federal Student Aid and can also affect how much aid your school can give you. View more info about scholarships and financial aid.

Next, look into scholarships for your particular area of study, ethnicity, sport or other areas of interest. FPU offers private scholarship options every semester that you can apply for!

Incoming and current FPU students can also attend a Student Job Fair. Meet with different offices across campus and personally submit résumé and apply for an on-campus job. This is a great way to build up your résumé while paying for college.

Is it realistic for me to study abroad? Where can I travel to and how do I do it?

Studying abroad is a great way to expand your horizons and shed a whole new light on your field of study. 51 Pacific offers a variety of study abroad programs ranging from short-term summer trips to semester-long programs. Many of our study abroad trips are designed to fulfill course requirements, so whether you’re across the country or across the globe, you can stay on track and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience. Click here to learn more about studying abroad.

If I don’t know anyone at 51 Pacific, how will I fit in and get involved?

The start of your college journey can be a great opportunity to meet new people. From the beginning of the application process, you’ll work with the same admission counselor until the moment you register for your courses and classes start! You’ll also be assigned a faculty advisor who will help you with the academic side of things. Additionally, every incoming student is automatically grouped with 20 other freshmen into what we call a “collegium” that meets with a faculty mentor to help make your transition into college a strong one. Collegiums are where lots of students make life-long friends!

Living on campus is not only a great way to get that four-year college experience, but is where roommates become friends and friends become family.
There are also many clubs and extracurricular opportunities on campus, designed to appeal to different interests. Whether you’re into ultimate frisbee or want to write for the school newspaper, there’s something for you here. Check out all of our different clubs here.

I have breaks between classes. What amenities are available to me on campus?

51 Pacific's campus offers various amenities for students. Whether you're a commuter taking advantage of the Commuter House and Commuter Lounge, or you're just enjoying the Student Lounge, Game Room, or Fitness Center, there's always a place for you. AIMS Hall Atrium, Charlotte's Coffee Corner and Hiebert Library are all great places to sit, study or hang out with friends. And don't forget about the number of free computer labs available to students. Check out all the amenities offered at FPU.

What is an internship? How do I get a job while in college?

An internship can be a valuable beginning to your future career. During an internship, you’ll gain work experience and learn skills relating to your area of study outside of the classroom. The Career Services Center is your resource for all things job-related. Search through hundreds of job and internship listings. Get help with résumé writing, job interview skills and applying for jobs. With workshops and career counseling, this is a great first step when you’re ready to start your job search.

What if I have a confidential matter I need to talk to someone about?

Our On-Site Counseling Program utilizes the skill of Master's-level clinicians as a resource to assist students with relationship problems, adjustment issues, grief and sadness, worry and anxiety, and unhealthy coping patterns. No matter the issue, the On-Site Counseling Program is a great way to get help in a confidential and accepting setting. Learn more about the On-Site Counseling Program.

Resources for First-Generation College Students

There are other resources available for you to successfully navigate your way through college. You don’t have to do it alone, so reach out to the programs below today!


The ALAS Program is committed to helping you successfully graduate from college in four years. Our free, personal services help you achieve a university degree and become a Sunbird for life. Academic counselors help you design a personalized education plan and help you learn which courses you need in order to graduate. You can also connect with student tutors who can answer your questions about classes and teachers, help you build a résumé and provide information about opportunities in your field of study. Located in Steinert Campus Center in SCC 122 between the Cafeteria and the Student Life office.

Scholarships for First-Generation college students
Student Advice

Every year, students who are the first in their families to attend college come to FPU. Here’s some advice to make the most out of your college experience and get ahead!

  • We know you've heard it before! "Get involved!" Clubs and volunteer opportunities are available year-round, so it's easy to join a community that shares your interests!
  • If you don't know where to start, the Student Life office is a great place to learn more about other ways to get involved on campus. Trips, events and services are available to all students. Visit Student Life in the Steinert Campus Center by the cafeteria.
  • The 51 Pacific community is a family. It’s natural to be scared, but you’ll eventually find your place on campus. Maybe you’ll find yourself acting in a play or competing on an intramural sports team!
  • Use every resource available to you. They’re there for a reason and you won’t bother anyone by asking questions. We love to help and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll try to find it for you.
  • Try to introduce yourself. The college experience is so much better when you share it with friends. The great thing is that it’s easy to make friends on our campus. Other students are new just like you so speak up about the homework with the person sitting next to you or strike up a conversation at the burrito bar in the lunch line.
  • Keep an open mind. College is a place full of new people, new ideas and new experiences. Some of the things you'll experience in college will be challenging, but all of it will shape you and help you grow into the person you'll become.
Parent Advice

Want to show your student you are rooting for them?