Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Laila McCloud

Academic Year



There is a gap in the financial literacy of first-generation college students. Research on first-generation college students and their unique barriers to financial resources, financial literacy, financial aid, and first-year seminars is reviewed. Research indicates that higher education funding, first-generation students’ intersecting identities, and the unique barriers related to their identities impact first-generation college students’ ability to succeed in higher education. A first-year seminar is proposed with financial literacy topics threaded throughout the entirety of the course and a financial literacy unit to address the gap in financial literacy. First-generation college students graduate at disproportionately low rates in comparison to their continuing-generation peers. Financial aid has increased access to higher education for first-generation college students, but access does not always equal success for these students without financial literacy education.