TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida is becoming a hot spot for first-generation students. 

One-in-four students at USF are the first in their family to go to college — higher than the national average. 

"We find that our first generation students are doing really well and graduating in being retained in their first year at higher rates than nationally at other institutions," a USF spokesperson said. 

The university attributes it to location and campus culture. 

"Their families feel welcome, they feel connected. They know that we will be here to support them and I really think for a first generation student that’s extremely important," a USF spokesperson said. 

When Communications Sciences Major Alih Rosa started at USF, things were a bit tough, having to figure things out on her own. 

"I remember being in my high school’s college student success office for like two weeks trying to get everything down because as much as my parents wanted to help, we really had no idea," Rosa said. 

Now she helps others going through the same thing, through the 'New Student Connections' office. 

"I kinda did a whole 180 switch from being the freshman to being the person who kinda was a resource for freshman students," she said. 

With the rise in first-generation students, Rosa has a piece of advise for the future first-generation freshman. 

"These next four years are going to be challenging, there’s going to be a lot of work, there’s going to be a lot of different changes, different environment, but just give it your all at this point," Rosa said.