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View Poll Results: Your college attendance in relation to your family?
First in family to attend college 5 7.81%
First in family to graduate college 17 26.56%
One of the first few in family to attend college 18 28.13%
Part of a long line of college graduates 19 29.69%
Didn't graduate college 3 4.69%
Didn't attend college 2 3.13%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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College pioneers?
Old 12-09-2014, 03:02 PM   #1
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College pioneers?

A comment in another thread got me thinking.
I was the first in my family (either mother's or father's side) to graduate college.
And except for my mom, who had just two years of college, I was the first to even attend one.

Please vote here on your experience. I'm guessing that the result will be interesting.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:06 PM   #2
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Is there supposed to be a poll attached?

I also was first on both sides and the only one of my siblings to attend college.

DW's family was/is a completely different story.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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Is there supposed to be a poll attached?
Sorry, you were too quick on the trigger for me!
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
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Well, my sister was first, 3 years ahead of me, but we were the first generation to graduate from college.

Dad quit high school at 17 to join the Navy in 1944. Mom graduated high school, worked a few years and then married and had us kids.

In DHs family both of his parents graduated from college, they met at Michigan State.

Among my cousins, all have gone to college except for my late brother who preferred drugs and food stamps to a college education. We have a judge, a cardiologist, a veterinarian and a couple of teachers.

I think my parents generation knew how important college was to my generation.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
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My older sister was first to college but dropped out after the second semester. It just wasn't for her. I was the first in my immediate family to get a B.S. degree but that didn't happen until I was in my mid forties. I did get an AA degree almost right out of high school and started a career not long after the AA degree.

Several cousins have degrees, some advanced, one is a physician, but most do not. Neither of my sisters ever finished a degree but both have taken classes. I guess the degree just didn't matter enough because they're certainly capable of the work.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:46 PM   #6
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My parents both graduated from a small liberal arts college that was commuting distance from their homes (Dad class of '27 and Mom class of '37). They were first generation Americans, and my grandparents had at best a grammar school education in "the old country". My father's brother and my mother's 5 siblings were all college graduates as their parents placed a high premium on education and were good money managers despite small incomes of the fathers working in the steel mills. My mother and her siblings were helped by an older brother who got a college scholarship and became a high school math teacher. He moved home, never married, and devoted his life to helping his younger siblings with their educations. My older sister is a college graduate (teacher, like my mother) and I have a 4-year degree and a master's degree.

My late husband had a 4-year degree (well, he finished in 3 years) and graduated from med school. His father went to college on the GI bill after WWII and became an MD and his mother had a 2 year junior college degree. His 5 siblings all graduated from college and professional/grad school.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:52 PM   #7
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DH was the first in his family to get a masters degree, his youngest sister also has a masters.

A college education was so important to my FIL that he set up a granchildrens college trust. The intention was to pay tuition equal to Michigan State's tuition to the college the grandchild chose. There really wasn't enough to pay the entire tuition but for my 2 sons it was about $20,000 each ($5000/year for 4 years for each one) which was a significant help. Out of 7 grandchildren three have graduated already, one graduates later this month, two are in college and one still in high school.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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I don't know of anyone else in the family who attended college before me, but I answered first of few, since there may have been and I don't know about it. I did not graduate from college. Money was very tight and it scared me to death wondering how I was going to pay back the money. There was not any encouragement from my family to go to college. My mom and dad did not finish high school. I lived with an aunt and uncle from age 11-18 and I know that my aunt graduated from high school, but have no idea if my uncle did or not. My DH graduated from college at 40. He was the only one in his family that graduated from college. My son attended at least 5 yrs, but never graduated. My daughter and her DH are both college graduates.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:02 PM   #9
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My Dad was the pioneer in our family. The U. of Cincinnati accepted him into their Co-op Program for Engineering. It's a fantastic program that requires that you attend school FT the first year, then alternate academic quarters working for a co-op employer and going to school. The co-op employer is usually the same company your whole academic career, with progressively more responsible work as you go through your courses. The employer also reports to the school on how you're doing. I later went to UC but not in a Co-Op program and most of the engineers came out with offers from their co-op employer.


Mt grandmother went to work in a bar to help pay for his first year.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:03 PM   #10
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My older sister and I established a college scholarship in elementary education at the college that both of my parents attended. At the time, 1983, it was the first scholarship for an elementary education major (Dad majored in history and Mom in French/elementary ed). After my aunt died recently, all the cousins established a business scholarship in her memory at the same college. We felt this little school gave the whole family a "leg up" in life. We specified for both scholarships that preference was to be given to county residents as they were all commuter students.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:49 PM   #11
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My Dad was the pioneer in our family. The U. of Cincinnati accepted him into their Co-op Program for Engineering. It's a fantastic program that requires that you attend school FT the first year, then alternate academic quarters working for a co-op employer and going to school. The co-op employer is usually the same company your whole academic career, with progressively more responsible work as you go through your courses. The employer also reports to the school on how you're doing. I later went to UC but not in a Co-Op program and most of the engineers came out with offers from their co-op employer.


Mt grandmother went to work in a bar to help pay for his first year.
I did the co-op thing when I was an undergraduate in Physics back in the day. Was a great way for those of us who were first generation college attenders to get a feel for what a white collar work place was like. My dad was a machinist in a factory his entire working life. As a kid, the message from him was clear that getting an education was a good thing. He wasn't clear about how it would pay off, since no one in the extended family or group of parent's friends had a degree or a white collar job, but somehow magically it would happen.

It worked well for me, even though my grandmother (dad's mom) tried to talk me out of attending at the last minute. She let me know in no uncertain terms that college was the most direct path to the fires of eternal damnation. That remains to be seen, of course. However, from my grandmother's point of view, when I ended up marrying a Catholic girl that I met at college, that pretty much doomed me for all eternity.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:57 PM   #12
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college was the most direct path to the fires of eternal damnation.
...
that pretty much doomed me for all eternity.
But on the plus side, you'll have lots of company down there. My understanding is that since hardly any of us are ready to go "before our time" we will all be considered EDs (Early Deceased) and will have a forum much like this one to post on during eternity.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:59 AM   #13
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Bumping this because I'm really curious about it.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:07 PM   #14
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I am the eldest in my family. Prior to my graduating college, the only person in my bloodline to attend or graduate college was my uncle (technically my step-uncle, my mother's stepbrother but for all intent and purposes my mother and aunts consider him to be a brother) and his son (my cousin) who is a few years older than I am.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:21 PM   #15
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Uncle Tommy... five years older than me was the only person on either side of both extended families who went to college (URI).
I and my brother (12 years younger), both graduated... me Bowdoin, he URI. The only ones out of 13 aunts and uncles and their offspring to go to college.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:27 PM   #16
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I am the grandchild of immigrants, who did not have college educations. All of my parents, aunts and uncles went to university and some distinguished themselves significantly. My brother and sister and I were simply expected to go to college. All of us tried it. I may be the only one who graduated per-se, but all of us got top-notch formal educations of different kinds. We are all successful in our way.

In my wife's family, she was the first (followed by her siblings) to graduate from university.

Education was/is highly valued in our families. In the next generation, our daughter is getting her masters at her employer's expense, our son is within an ace of graduating but is going another direction (for now). Our nieces and nephews are all college grads.

I am a witness that America is the land of opportunity. When I hear that somebody swam here on an innertube, dammit, I want to hire that guy.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:56 PM   #17
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Some of my aunts on my dad's side graduated, but I answered with immediate family in mind, putting me as the first. Not first to attempt in my immediate family, though. Plenty of older cousins that completed too. My dad has 8 sibs!
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:03 PM   #18
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My dad was first in his family to go to college. My mom was also first. Dad has a Masters in Horticulture and Mom has a BSN. Most of my older cousins have degrees and my older sister has her PhD. I still put that I was in a long line, because by the time I graduated at 40, even more cousins had finished!
Dad got a $400 scholarship and a watch for being the state soil judging champion his senior year of high school. That was enough to get him started. He and mom lived in married student housing and she looked after other kids while he worked/attended classes 16 hours a day. My sister was born while they were at Clemson. Mom went to college when I started kindergarten. They worked very hard for their educations, that's for sure.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:09 PM   #19
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After all these years, only just learned my non-English speaking Portuguese grandfather was undocumented. Blew me away! Father got two degrees in the 60's. Got my undergrad in the 70's, grad degree in 2000. One sister has an undergraduate degree. Mother got her grad degree before I went back for mine.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:32 PM   #20
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My siblings and I were the first generation in our family to have the opportunity to go to college. And, with the exception of my Mom, the first generation in our family to graduate HS. My Dad dropped out of HS to join the Navy immediately after Pearl Harbor, and spent his 17th birthday on Okinawa. Several of his school mates did the same thing.

My oldest sibling opted for trade school instead, and loves his career path. At 66, he's still working because he truly enjoys what he does.

My next oldest sibling did 2 years at the community college, then 2 years at state college to become a teacher. After graduation, she decided that teaching wasn't for her, and did secretarial work until her retirement last year at 62.

I enjoyed kindergarten, but I began disliking school a little bit at a time each successive year after that, so by the time I got paroled from HS, I swore that I'd never get sentenced to school again. So no college for me! I went out and got a job instead. I FIRE'd in April 2007, at 50!

In comparison, my sister's 3 kids all attended college. The 2 oldest have master's degrees, are currently employed in the fields that they studied for, and are working toward doctorates in those fields as well. The youngest did 2 years of community college, then studied to become an EMT. She's currently taking a hiatus, and perusing fun and adventure instead. At some point she will most likely finish her studies.

My brother's daughter dropped out of HS in the early '90s, and we've never heard about her, or from her, since. I seriously doubt that any higher education was in her future.
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