First-Generation Students | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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There's A Place For You Here.
First-Generation Students

There's A Place For You Here.
First-Generation Students

First-Generation Students

As a first-generation college student, you may be feeling a combination of excitement and anxiety since choosing to pursue a higher education. Whether you’re considering earning a certificate or degree to move into the workforce, or planning to transfer to a four-year university, your journey begins at NWACC. There's a place for you here. 

Take a moment to learn more about what defines a first-gen student and the many resources NWACC has to offer. NWACC students who identify as first-generation will receive a first-gen cord to wear at graduation. 

What is a first-generation college student?

At NWACC, the term first-generation student refers to students who are the first of their family to attend a higher education institution. Their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed any level of higher education. Students who have siblings in college but whose parents have not earned any degree are still considered first-generation. 

NWACC's Office of Student Life offers first-gen students support and resources, so you are better able to succeed at college and in your future endeavors. 

Female NWACC Student


First Gen Student Shares Her Story

Shonna shares the struggles she overcame when deciding to pursue an associate degree at NWACC. 

Read Blog Story

Statistics and Figures

NWACC Applicants are First-Gen
Student to teacher ratio
Scholarships awarded annually


SOAR Program

The SOAR (Support, Opportunity and Academic Readiness) program is a monthly meet-up and discussion led by a first-gen NWACC staff or faculty member. Students are able to connect with first-gen staff and faculty by hearing their stories, asking questions and receiving resources. 

Join the SOAR program by emailing 



The purpose of the F1RSTS (First Generation Initiative Representing, Supporting and Teaching Students) club is to create a community that represents, supports and teaches first-generation students at NWACC. The club accomplishes its purpose by creating events, hosting guest speakers, providing resources, and creating an inclusive atmosphere for students to learn about first-gen and how to support one another.First Gen Club Logo

Get Involved:

  • Join F1RSTS club by emailing 
  • Graduating F1RSTS club members will receive a stole at graduation.


First-Gen Graduation Banquet

Every spring, NWACC celebrates first-gen graduates with a banquet! Family, friends and grads are invited. Graduates receive an invitation through their NWACC email.

For more information, email 


Young Hispanic male student smiling in the library

Tips for First-Gen

View a number of tips and recommendations for new and current first generation students as you begin to navigate college and reach your academic goals. 

Tips & Recommendations

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College Glossary

Terminology and jargon used in higher education may seem like a foreign language for many first-gen students. View our handy glossary to gain a better understanding. 

College Glossary

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Student Resources

Whether you're needing assistance with a research paper, looking for a tutor, or requesting special accommodations, NWACC has resources to help you succeed.

Student Resources

White mother and young adult daughter smiling

Family & Friends

As a family member or friend of a first-generation student, view these numerous tips to help guide you in supporting your student's college plans, as well as their personal goals. 

Family & Friends

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Getting Involved

NWACC offers more than classes. Get involved by joining a student club or organization and enjoy making new friends, developing your skills and networking. 

Get Involved

Female Student Smiling

Paying for College

There are a number of payment options when it comes to affording your higher education. Learn more about financial aid, scholarships, grants, loans and more. 

First-Gen Forward

As a First-Gen Forward Institution, NWACC is recognized for its commitment to the success of first-gen students. There are currently 268 designated First-gen Forward Institutions across the 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23 cohorts. Collectively, they represent a community of professionals prepared to share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the United States.

Learn more by visiting the NASPA page

First Gen Forward Institution Logo