Who are First-Generation (first-gen) Students? First-gen students are typically defined as the first person in a family to attend a college or 4-year university (in the United States). First-gen students are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, age, and socioeconomic status. In 2016, approximately 13% of students at University of Michigan were classified as first-gen. Find more information about UM First Generation Students HERE.
The following sections were contributed by UM Students who identify as First Generation.
- Autonomy to create your own path
- Learning quickly
- Financial instability
- Mental health stressors
- College adjustment
- Navigating campus
- Transitioning from school to home life
- Dealing with family expectations and pressure
CAPS - mental-health related services
University Health Service - for health-realted needs
LSA Advising - schedule an appointment with an advisor if you’re an LSA student
Office of Financial Aid - learn and find more scholarship oppertunities
EnginFirst - information for first-gen Engineering students
What if You Need Help?
Seek Clinical Services - schedule an initial consultation with a CAPS counselor
Find a Mentor/Support Group - reach out to someone you trust such as your friends, peers, coaches, professors, high-school teachers, and so on
Contact Your Advisor - gain study & time management skills, and stay on track for graduation
Build Relationships With Your Professors - stop by their office hours to introduce yourself
How to Talk to Your Family:
First-gen students may experience difficulties gaining adequate support from their family members throughout the duration of college because their parents or siblings are not aquainted with higher education. Although you know your family best, we have some recommendations.
Be open and honest when communicating
Set goals with your parents/family and check in frequently
Invest your family in your experiences through exposure, such as sharing information about what you’re learning in classes and on-campus activities you’re participating in