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Take the Leap, Be the First, a campaign of the Delaware Department of Education’s Higher Education Office, aims to share success stories of first-generation college students and their families. The goal is to inspire more Delaware families to overcome some of the barriers and fears that may keep them from attending college. Our messages are simple:

You belong in college. You are college material! It’s up to you to determine what path you want to travel. Post-secondary schools offer programs for every type of student.

You are not alone. Yes, going to college feels like a leap of faith. But many people are ready to guide you through each stage of the college-going process and catch you if you slip.

You can pay for college. Students from families that have not attended college don’t always know where to find financial help. Rest assured, money for college is available.

But don’t take it from us – listen to students and parents who took the leap and are very glad they did.


Many people and organizations encourage first-generation college students, those pioneers in the family, to create a pathway to higher education. Below are useful first-gen resources:

I’m First is an online community for first-generation college students—and their supporters.

First Generation is documentary chronicling the lives of four students striving to be the first in their families to go to college

Reach Higher is a White House initiative to inspire students to complete their education past high school.

Delaware College Scholars, a program between the Delaware Department of Education and St. Andrew’s School, recruits and assists high-performing, low-income high school students as they apply to competitive colleges and universities.