The First-Generation Student Program is grounded in a history of student activism. First-Generation College Students @UM, a student organization, was founded in 2007 with the mission to increase accessibility to resources for first-generation students and to build community among the population. The students advocated for greater campus support for themselves and other peer first-generation students. In 2017, University of Michigan hired the inaugural first First-Generation Program Manager, established the First-Generation Gateway Office, and launched multiple initiatives to increase first-generation student success. As a result, student engagement has increased significantly since 2017 and University of Michigan’s first-generation efforts have received national recognition.
We’re collecting and sharing stories from other first-generation college students and graduates to inspire and offer advice to current and future first gens. We’ve also compiled useful information about college life, paying for college and other programs and services.
Above all, we hope this site helps you open doors and connect with U-M’s community of first-generation students and those who will support and encourage you throughout your journey.
It takes courage and determination to break new ground and try new things, to be FIRST. This includes being among the first in your family to attend and graduate from college. While going off to college can be challenging for all students, it can be especially intimidating for even the bravest first gens.
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