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First Generation Students
Our mission is to help all UST first-generation college students succeed in becoming college graduates through intentional interactions and participation in the UST community. We create a support network that promotes success for all.

At the University of St. Thomas, First-Generation College students are defined as any student whose parents have not attainted their bachelor’s degree.


  • Ease the transition from high school to college.
  • Help to clarify the “college experience” for students and families.
  • Provide additional resources for financial aid education.
  • Impact graduation and retention rates for first-generation college students.
  • Create opportunities for peer discussions and interaction for social and academic growth.
  • Connect FirstGen students with UST and the Houston community FirstGen graduates.
  • Provide free or low-cost activities for FirstGen students.
  • Create an understanding of FirstGen needs at UST.

UST FirstGen Group

Open to all UST students, faculty, and staff, the UST First Gen Group meets every other Tuesday at 12:30 pm in the Crooker Student Lounge to connect, ask questions, and discuss what it is like to be a First Gen student.

Stay Connected

Anyone who is interested in information related to the success of first-generation college students should email and request to be added to the UST First Generation College Student list-serve.

Nine Keys to Success for First Generation College Students

Success comes from a combination of hard work, teamwork, commitment and self-discipline. The following advice is adapted from K.J. Sufka’s 2011 book, The “A” Game: Nine Steps for Better Grades:

1.Go to class…ALWAYS!
2.Never sit in the cheap seats – sit in the front row where there are fewer distractions.
3.Come to class prepared – read assignments prior to class and review your notes.
4.When lost, ask questions – raise your hand, ask questions and visit faculty office hours.
5.Get spaced out – avoid “all nighters” and spread out your study times.
6.Develop learning objectives – learn different strategies for note-taking, studying material and learning styles that work for you.
7.Learn materials at all levels – college is more than just memorizing. Learn what it means to have “critical thinking” skills.
8.Use learning checks – get involved with study groups and use tutorial services.
9.Be exam savvy – read all questions carefully, review your answers and avoid errors in marking your answers.


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University of St. Thomas - Houston, TX - Educating Leaders of Faith and Character
University of St. Thomas
The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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