Resources for first generation college students

As a parent, you want better for your kids – and often times, that means sending them to college, even if have never attended college yourself. You want your child to succeed, improve their lifetime earning potential, to create a better future for themselves, and college is often the answer. But, if you have never attended college, you may not know where to start. We are here to help. At Marshalltown Community College, we have a team of people dedicated to assisting first generation college students as they transition academically and socially to college life.


Our commitment begins before students start classes. Each student works with an academic advisor that walks them through the process of choosing classes, helping them stay on track and graduate on time. The advisors help students understand what their next steps will be — whether college or career. The advisor guides them towards all required courses and helps them understand the sequence of their academic plan. They also share information on study groups, academic support, and Trio services. They also teach them how to work with instructors, and improve their chances of success long term.

Financial Aid

Often first-generation college students have a harder time understanding financial aid – from filling out the FAFSA to complete scholarship applications, they don’t have a roadmap for these steps. We provide special support for these students and their parents, from FAFSA workshops to scholarship application days. We take extra time to ensure everyone is comfortable with the financial aid process and what their responsibilities are.

Parent Support

We get it — parents have questions. Many parents are not aware of the financial aid and admissions processes. At MCC, we make every effort to share information with the parents as well as the students. We provide open houses, financial workshops, and parent-focused information on our website. If parents still have questions, we have a team of people ready to answer them and take the worry out of the experience.

Social Support

We know that the more involved students are on campus, the better chance they will succeed academically. Whether students live on campus or commute to school, we provide a lot of ways to get involved and make friends. We have over 20 clubs and organizations that provide leadership and engagement opportunities. From athletics to student senate and social clubs, we have something for everyone!

Career Exploration

There are careers available now that have never been available before – we help students explore a variety of career paths. We help them identify their strengths and interests and we help them map it to a career field. We also help them build their resumes and practice interview skills — when they leave here, they are truly career-ready. They may be interviewing for their next college experience or their dream job — we’ll help them get there!

At Marshalltown Community College, we want to see all of our students succeed, but we take a special interest in our first-generation students. In November, we celebrated first-gen college student week, but it’s not contained to a week on our campus. We go out of our way to help people succeed. Questions? Contact us to speak to one of our admissions counselors today and learn about all of the options available to your son or daughter.


Angie Redmond is the Dean of Enrollment

and Academic Affairs for MCC.


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