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First Generation Students

First Generation LogoAt SWOSU, roughly 40% of our student body are first-generation college students. Though being first-gen may pose unique challenges to students who are attempting to navigate the college environment, many SWOSU faculty and staff were first-gen themselves and are here to answer questions. If you have questions about SWOSU policies or how to access campus services, you are encouraged to email or call 580.774.6037. 

If you’re not sure [whether you are a first-generation college student], you’re certainly not alone. While roughly fifty percent of students identify as first-gen, many are unaware of their first-gen status until they reach college, which can make accessing resources difficult.” -Center for First-Generation Student Success


How do I know if I’m first-gen?

Although different sources may use varying definitions for first-gen, SWOSU defines first-gen as a student from a family where neither parent or guardian completed a four-year degree. That means a student is considered first-gen at SWOSU even if their parents attended some college or if they have an older sibling who graduated college.

What resources are available to help me succeed at SWOSU?

There are many student service departments at SWOSU to support student success. If you aren’t sure where to start, email or call the Academic Support Center at 580.774.6037.

How do I pick a major or career path?

You do not need to know your major before enrolling at SWOSU. If you find that you are undecided on a major, you will be assigned an academic advisor in the Academic Support Center (ASC). The ASC also has a Career Exploration Coordinator who can help you determine what jobs would be best for you.

Do I need to be “full-time”?

Full-time enrollment for an undergraduate student is 12 credit hours or more per semester in an academic year or a minimum of 6 credit hours in a summer session. Full-time enrollment for a graduate student is 9 credit hours or more per semester in an academic year or a minimum of 4 credit hours in a summer session. You do not have to be full-time to be eligible for federal student loans, but full-time status may be a requirement for other forms of aid.

Where can I go to get answers to my questions?

If you have questions about which department to visit or who you need to speak with for various issues, you are encouraged to start at the Academic Support Center. You can email or call 580.774.6037, or you can also set up an appointment.

How do I know if a SWOSU staff or faculty member was first-gen?

Many SWOSU faculty and staff have a magnet or button displayed in their office identifying them as first-gen with this logo:

If you see this magnet or button in one of our offices, please don’t hesitate to ask questions!