I was fortunate to have supportive parents who stressed the importance of a college education, even though they did not have that opportunity themselves. Like many first-gen students, I needed generous financial aid, including Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, and work study, to pay for my education. Even though I graduated with debt, my education was the best investment I could have made. As a professor, I’ve tried to create opportunities for students similar to those I had as an undergraduate.

Shaun P. Vecera, Ph.D.
Herman J. & Eileen S. Schmidt Chair
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
The University of Iowa