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The road to a college degree is paved with countless detours for the average student but if you’re the first in your family to choose that path, you should expect a road with even more twists and turns.

As a first-generation student, you’re challenged with navigating the college process without the learning curve that comes from having a college graduate to lean on. Relying on parents who cannot provide insight and first-hand knowledge on how to maximize your financial aid package or the importance of internship opportunities and networking while still in school is tough. And while figuring out how to balance a full course load with a part-time job and somewhat of a social life are skills you’ll develop along the way, most colleges and quite a few organizations offer scholarships specifically for first-generation students to help them thrive in higher education.

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