F1RST Program

The F1RST Program serves undergraduate first-generation students in the transition to the university through comprehensive multilevel support.

Welcome to all first-gen students and supporters!    

It is First-Gen Celebration Week!

November 2nd-8th

Click here to learn more about the First-Gen Celebration Week 
for event details and ways to get involved!

Contact Us

Email: coaching@tamug.edu 
Phone: (409) 741-4343

Zoom: AskAgs Help Desk
Mon - Thurs: 9am-5pm

F1RST Program Details    

As a first-generation student, we know it takes a community to support, encourage and guide you through the unknowns to come in the next few years. The mission of the F1RST Program is to serve first-generation college students in the transition to and through the university. All first-generation, undergraduate students are invited to join the F1RST Learning Community which provides a broad array of resources and opportunities to learn about, and engage with, the instituion. This includes a weekly small-group community meeting, targeted lessons to guide student development, special events, and unique access to staff and faculty support. F1RST students also benefit from consistent peer mentorship from upper-class students who are able to uniquely guide and support them as they transition to college. These students are trained, prepared and excited to help you successfully navigate college as a F1RST student. 

Some F1RST students additionally qualify for a F1RST Grant, dependent on financial need and Texas residency. See below for additional details on the F1RST Grant. Participation in the F1RST Program is not contingent upon grant eligibility; you are still fully eligible to participate in F1RST regardless of grant awarding

There are many ways to define first-generation. The definition that our campus officially uses to determine first-generation status is that first-generation students are the first in their family to attend college meaning  that neither parent has completed a bachelor’s degree.

F1RST Grant Details    

F1RST Program participants have the opportunity for limited financial support in addition to the academic and social support provided. Here are some important details regarding the F1RST Grant

F1RST Funding

  • This is a four (4) year, renewable award up to $20,000
  • Pays in eight (8) stipends of up to $2,500 each term ($5,000 per year) for four (4) years
  • Final eligibility for this funding will be determined based on the FAFSA (or TASFA); you must submit your FAFSA (or TASFA) and any additional documentation requested in order to be considered for this funding. 
  • Students requiring financial aid verification must fully complete that process prior to consideration for this award

Grant Eligibility

  • F1RST Scholarship Grant is based upon financial need and funding availability. Funding is limited and will be awarded to those demonstrating eligibility on a rolling basis.
    • A total family income of $50,000 or below is required
    • Prompt completion of the FAFSA (or TASFA) and confirmation steps are strongly encouraged. You must complete the FAFSA (or TASFA) by April 15, 2021 to be considered for this award.
  • To be eligible for the F1RST grant, you must additionally:
    • Be a first-generation college student (neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree)
    • Be a Texas resident
  • Students who receive the F1RST grant are required to participate in a living learning community during their first year at TAMUG and will reside in a designated residence hall area. 
  • To be eligible for continuation of the F1RST grant, you must:
    • Enroll full-time - 12 credit hours
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress 
    • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university
    • Successfully complete program requirements
    • Continue to demonstrate financial eligibility through the FAFSA/TASFA annually 

First-Gen Student Family Resources    

How to support your first-generation student

As a family member, sibling, friend or professor you may be unsure of the support your first-generation student is needing as they start and continue their journey through college. Below are a few tips to help you in supporting the first-generation students you may know:

  • Offer words of engagement regularly. College brings not only academic stress, but the stress of becoming an individual. As a first-generation student, this can be added to the pressure of succeeding for not only themselves, but their family as being the first to make this journey to and through college. 
  • Pursuing higher education does not mean that students will lose the values they were raised with. In fact, these values will help them persist towards their personal and professional goals.
  • Remind your F1RST student that they belong. A strong sense of belonging in the greater campus community and in their home communities will positively impact their academic performance. 
  • Your student may not be able to come home every weekend if they are living on campus. This is the case even if home is 5 or 10 miles away. If the student is living at home, they may not have the same amount of time to devote to family responsibilities as they did before. This does not mean they value you less! 
  • Learn about the college process and what to expect. By learning about your F1RST student’s degree plan and campus resources, you will be able to become more familiar with what your student is experiencing.
  • Be patient with yourselves and one another. This is a learning experience for everyone (both you and your student) -- you will all be learning about this transition process together.  

Common Terminology    

In college, you will hear many new terms and/or acronyms. We have gathered some of the common terms and their definitions which you will hear.
Academic Advisor
Academic Advisor

Someone who can assist you in making sure you are meeting your degree requirements. You should meet with them each semester! At TAMUG, you will have an academic advisor both in the Center for Academic Learning Support for your first-year and a department academic advisor within your specific major.

Add/Drop
Add/Drop

Through your Howdy portal, you can add and remove courses from your schedule through the 5th class day of the semester. It is always recommended to first speak with your advisor to make sure your degree plan is not affected. 

AIS (Applicant Information System)
AIS (Applicant Information System)
Applicant Information System - allows you to see your progress in the application process to TAMU/TAMUG. Once you have been admitted to TAMUG, you will register for your NSC and submit needed documents through your AIS portal. https://applicant.tamu.edu/
CL (Community Leader)
CL (Community Leader)
Student leader in the residence hall
Cost of Attendance
Cost of Attendance
This is the total price of going to college. This includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, and other living expenses.
Counseling
Counseling
Counselors offer support for student’s mental health and career services on the campus.
Course Support
Course Support
Course support is individual or small group tutoring available to students for specific classes.
Credit-Bearing
Credit-Bearing
This means this class has hours or credits associated with it. Credit-bearing courses will
Expected Family Contribution
Expected Family Contribution
A formula that tells you how much you can afford to pay. This estimate includes your family’s assets, income, and family size. The expected family contribution is determined through completing the FAFSA.
Faculty
Faculty
Teacher of your class; same as professor or instructor.
FAFSA
FAFSA
Free Application for Federal Student Aid - this is used to apply for grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. To be considered for the F1RST grant opportunity, you must have completed the FAFSA application. https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa 
Full-time enrollment
Full-time enrollment
Full-time enrollment is considered during a Fall and Spring semester being registered for at least 12 credit hours. During the summer, full-time enrollment is registration for at least 6 credit hours during the summer session.
GPR
GPR
Grade Point Ratio - this is the same as GPA (Grade Point Average). A&M uses a 4.0 scale for GPA (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1). A 2.0 GPR is the required minimum to be in good academic standing.
Graduate
Graduate
A student who has completed an undergraduate degree and is pursuing a Master’s or Doctorate degree. 
Living Learning Community
Living Learning Community
A community in which students live and learn together with a common theme to enrich their college experience and build connections.
Grants
Grants
This is free money that you do not have to pay back. It is mostly based on financial need.
Part-time Enrollment
Part-time Enrollment
Part-time enrollment is considered during a Fall and Spring semester being registered for less than 12 credit hours. Students may not be eligible for the same amount of financial aid if they are not enrolled full-time.
Peer Mentor
Peer Mentor
An undergraduate student who works to connect students to the campus and community through shared experiences.
Professor
Professor
Teacher of your class; used interchangably with 'faculty' or 'instructor'.
Q-Drop
Q-Drop
The student removes themselves from a class and a ‘Q’ is placed on their transcript as their grade. This can protect the GPA of a student if they feel they may get a ‘F’ in the class.
Undergraduate
Undergraduate
A student studying to earn an Associate's or Bachelor's degree. This is compared to a 'graduate student' who is earning a degree beyond the Bachelor's level (Masters or Doctoral degrees).
Withdrawal
Withdrawal
Withdrawing from the university means a student drops all courses currently in progress.
TA (Teaching Assistant)
TA (Teaching Assistant)
A graduate student who instructs or assist in one of your courses
TASFA
TASFA
Texas Application for State Financial Aid is used to help determine financial aid eligibility for state and/or institutional aid. This financial aid application is for students not eligible to complete the FAFSA for federal student aid.
SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)
SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress)
Satisfactory academic progress is the successful completion of coursework toward the degree. SAP is determined by the completion rate, maximum hours, and minimum grade point average.
Scholarships
Scholarships
Money that does not need to be repaid and can be received through various ways.