The end of summer means students are returning to college campuses all around the country, unloading their parents’ minivans and checking into dorms.

For plenty of those kids, going to college was never a question — they might even be going to the same school as their parents or grandparents. But roughly one third of all undergraduates are the first in their families to go. And for many of them, getting there wasn’t easy.

In this episode, stories from people who were the first to go to college, and the stories of how they got there, often with a helping hand — or a swift kick in the pants — at just the right moment.

Released August 29, 2017.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
Blue Dot Sessions – “Grey Grey Joe,” “Filing Away”
Ketsa – “Torched”
Cranston – “Back to Wisconsin”
James Brown – “Sex Machine,” “Don’t Be a Drop Out”
Dlay – “halves & quarters”