Ana Pedro Hipalito – Sanger, TX

Ana Pedro Hipalito – Sanger, TX

A First-Gen College Student Gears Up for Success

As of academic year 2015-2016, 56% of undergraduate students nationally were first-generation college students, according to the Center for First Generation Student Success. First-generation students have no parents with a bachelor’s degree and often face unique barriers to success in college.

But many of the same students break down those barriers, and Walmart associate Ana Pedro Hipalito is one of those students.

Ana works as an order filler at Walmart Distribution Center 6068 in Sanger, Texas. During her time at the DC, Ana was able to complete an associate degree. But after enrolling for her bachelor’s degree, she was faced with a hard truth: college is expensive.

With each passing semester, Ana worried whether or not she would have the finances to finish school. But then things changed. When Walmart announced its Live Better U program, allowing students to take college classes for only $1 a day, Ana applied to the University of Florida in January 2019 – and was accepted.

Now she’s taking online classes with the University of Florida’s online business program and says Live Better U has allowed her to worry less about money and focus more on school.

"Every semester I’ve had to think about how I’m going to get to the next semester, but now I don’t have to worry about that," Ana said. "I can just fully focus on doing things I love and fully focus on doing my homework and learning the most I can."

Ana also noted the convenience afforded by online courses, which allow her to set her own schedule and complete coursework whenever time allows.

"Being accepted into the University of Florida’s online business program has enabled me to organize my life to maximize my time," Ana said. "With online classes, I am in control of my own schedule and have been able to pick up activities such as running, learning to play piano and learning a new language."