National First-Generation College Student Celebration Day

A blue rectange image with the Charles Butt Foundation logo and text underneath reading "The experiences and contributions of first-generation college graduates are woven into the fabric of the Charles Butt Foundation.

November 8th is National-First Generation College Student Day. The Charles Butt Scholarship celebrates the scholarship recipients who identify as first-generation college students today, and every day! 

Today we are honored to celebrate National First-Generation College Student Day! According to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), 56% of all postsecondary students in the U.S. have parents who don’t hold bachelor’s degrees. In Texas, nearly 44% of all college students are the first in their families to attend college. 

According to NASPA, first-generation college students are more likely to come from low-income or minority backgrounds and to be parents, caregivers, veterans, or first-generation Americans, and 28% are 30 or older. The experiences of first-generation college students are unique from their peers and often make the journey toward completing a college degree more challenging. According to a 2018 landscape analysis from the Center for First-Generation Student Success, first-generation students make up one third of all college students in the U.S., but only 27% of those students will attain their degree within four years. Students who are the first in their family to attend college often face academic, cultural, and financial barriers on their path to graduation.

National First-Generation College Student Day represents an opportunity to raise awareness about the experience of first-generation college students and ways to ensure their college-going experiences are equitable to those of their continuing-generation peers.

The experiences and contributions of first-generation college graduates are woven into the fabric of the Charles Butt Foundation. First-generation college graduates make up our staff, current recipients of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers, and our Scholar Alumni. Both our statewide programming and regional giving impact first-generation college students.

Forty-four percent of Charles Butt Scholarship recipients are first-generation college students. We work to remove some of the barriers faced by first-generation college students by offering wrap-around support services to Charles Butt Scholars. This includes pairing them with an experienced educator as a mentor, providing ongoing professional development, and connecting them with other Scholars across the state. In addition, we support Scholars to navigate unfamiliar college systems and connect them with resources at their universities and in their communities through a program called Scholar Support Services.

The Charles Butt Foundation is an anchor partner of Future Ready Bexar County — an initiative committed to increasing postsecondary enrollment of Bexar County High School graduates in a degree or credential program to 70% by 2030. Currently 30% of Bexar County residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The work of Future Ready Bexar County will largely impact students who will be the first in their families to either attend college and/or complete a postsecondary degree.

Future Ready Bexar County is guiding shared action among San Antonio and Bexar County’s many systems and organizations committed to ensuring a more equitable future for the next generation.  It provides leaders the shared language and practices needed to drive real progress.

The Charles Butt Foundation’s work would not be complete without our support of first-generation college students. Today we honor them and continue our support of them through our work of pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans.

Application Open

Applications are currently open for the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers!