Being a first-generation student can be challenging—I have been there. As a first-generation student myself, I was lucky enough to have older brothers who attended college before me. They were there to support me while I began my new journey. However, this is something that many other first-generation students may not have—instead, you may need to rely on the support of on-campus resources to help you succeed in college.


Student getting help from an advisor in the Warrior Success Center.

Photo by Brian Waldbillig ’18



What Does First-Generation Mean?


First-generation students are the first in their family to attend college and earn a Bachelor’s degree. This means that neither parent of a first-generation student has earned a four-year college degree. These students are highly represented here at WSU, with nearly 40% of our students recognized as First-Gen Warriors.

Winona State University prides itself to offer a number of resources for its first-generation students to help ease the transition, and I am personally grateful for how these resources have impacted my college experience.



4 Helpful On-Campus Resources


Here are four resources available at WSU that will make your experience as a first-generation student smooth and meaningful:


Photo by Amy Nelson ’20


1. First-Gen Warrior Club

WSU’s First-Gen Warrior Club provides first-generation students with a close-knit community they can turn to to ask questions, find resources and make new friends. This club allows first-generation students to connect and bond with one another over their college experiences, as well as create relationships they will cherish forever.


Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


2. Scholarships

Among the list of scholarships offered by WSU include first-generation-specific awards. The First-Gen Warrior Scholarship, worth $1,000, is available to support and encourage our first-generation students in earning their college degree.


Photo by Brian Waldbillig ’18


3. Warrior Success Center

WSU prioritizes the success of its students. The Warrior Success Center is an extremely useful resource because it works to offer support to students in four different areas. These services include:

  • Advising: Talk with an advisor to set goals, register for classes based on your program of interest and ask questions.
  • Career: Connect with job and internship networks, and prepare for your future after college through job fairs and other special career events.
  • Tutoring: Take advantage of free tutoring offered for a variety of classes and taught by faculty-recommended student tutors.
  • Access: For any student with a documented disability, utilize offered accommodations, including extended exam periods, low distraction testing environments and alternate textbook formats.


Photo by Amy Nelson ’20



TRIO is a student support service that provides students with free resources to help them achieve their goal of graduating, including academic advising, money management, tutoring and a supportive community. To be a part of TRIO, you must be eligible. Join TRIO today and make use of their fun, topic-focused workshops and events year-round.


Being the first in your family to pursue a college degree can feel like you are chartering new territory without a map. Luckily for first-generation students at WSU, our on-campus resources are the perfect guide to your journey. Taking full advantage of these resources will ease your transition and help you find your new community!


Updated by Hailey Seipel (06/27/2019)