First Generation Families

Parents and Families

Congratulations on your child being the first member of your family to attend college (“first generation” college student)! Your student may likely face some unique challenges, however rest assured that with your support combined with the resources that Rice offers, he will be well equipped to handle whatever comes his way.

There are some essential steps that parents and families can take to ensure that their student makes a smooth transition to college.

  • First, be sure to attend New Families Orientation to become knowledgeable about the resources/services available to your student since parent/family support is fundamental to the academic success of college students.
  • Encourage your student to make copies of all important paperwork, and make sure to write down the name, department, date and comments of the person he speaks to when contacting departments on campus with questions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the college process and what to expect. By learning about campus resources you will be able to become more knowledgeable with what your student is experiencing.
  • Lastly, be patient with one another, especially since this is a learning experience for everyone (both you and your student). You will be learning about this transition process together!
  • Stay involved and be supportive of this transitional moment for your student; it helps to learn about the process together. Familiarize yourself with the helpful links above to learn more about the resources available.

Even if your student is only a few miles from home, they will likely have to devote more time to their life in college; however, this does not mean that they will lose family values. It is through your support and guidance that your student was able to make it through high school and open up a new chapter of his life here at Rice. As you continue to support and encourage your student, he will feel more confident, more informed about campus resources, and surely discover a greater sense of belonging and community at Rice. Being a first generation college student is a point of pride. You can take great joy in knowing that your student’s accomplishments are also your shared accomplishments and legacy!

Visit the Rice University Parents homepage for more information:

The college process can be stressful at times, but this should be an exciting time for both you and your student. Remember to enjoy this experience!

If you have further questions regarding first generation college students, please contact Jessica Bowers Chukwu ( in Rice’s, Student Success Initiatives Office.


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