% of first-generation
college students graduate within four years.
The median family income for freshmen whose parents did not attend college is
for those whose parents did. Source: Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA
Mary Haskins, Ph.D., professor of biology, is both a first-generation high school and college student.
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Alexandra Meyer, ’19, works two jobs to support herself during her time as a Rockhurst student. “I made an agreement with myself that I would not leave college with debt. I would pay off all of my loans every semester. Which I have done successfully,” said Meyer. Meyer, Webster and their fellow first-generation students have the commendable ability to follow through on their goals despite overwhelming obstacles. Their experiences bring great perspective and value to institutions of higher education, and this resiliency is one of their many characteristics to be applauded. Wisdom is another, according to Mary Haskins, Ph.D., professor of biology and firstgeneration high school and college student. “There is a big difference between wisdom and knowledge,” said Haskins. “Many first-generation college students have, in my opinion, the opportunity to gain knowledge through their academic studies and a great deal of wisdom from their family.” Haskins says her mother did not have a formal education past eighth grade but was the wisest person she knew. A recent study by social psychologist Igor Grossmann at the University of Waterloo in Canada found that people in challenging situations develop strong wise-reasoning characteristics, such as conflict resolution, social skills and problem-solving.
The magazine for Rockhurst University.