What is a First-Generation Student?

How do I know if I'm a first-generation student?

Did either of my parents graduate from a 4-year university?

  • If not, then you are a first-generation student

What if my parents started college but never finished?

  • You are a first-generation student

What if I have an older sibling that is in college/graduated from college?

  • If your parents did not graduate from a 4-year college or university, then you're still a first-generation student!

What is the National First-Generation College Student Celebration?

In November 2017, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) partnerered with the Center for First-Generation Student Success, which is an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation, to launch the inaugural First-Generation College Student Celebration.

The now annual event, which is held each year on November 8 to commemorate the anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965, encourages colleges and universities across the country to celebrate the successes of the institution's first-generation faculty, staff, and students.

Montana State University's First-Generation recognition is a collaboration between GEAR UP MSU, the Office of Student Engagement, and TRIO Student Support Services.