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Center for Diversity & Inclusion

  • Text reads, Please join CDI for the First-Generation Fest, September 5, 5:30-7:00 p.m. MGC 247
  • Students in a tiered classroom
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  • Kathy Kim (SIS '16) displays her first-gen pride via her six word story! #AU6Word

Are You A First-Generation College Student?

Who is considered first-generation at AU? A first-generation college student is defined as a student where neither parent(s)/legal guardian(s) has attend any college. This means you are the first in your family to attend college. Being the first is a proud accomplishment! We recognize that you might have lots of questions and encourage you to ask away. No question is too little, too big, and all are relevant towards enhancing your unique experience and journey.

Get Involved and First-Generation Offerings 

There are many "firsts" to be proud of, and being first in your family to attend college is no exception. Being a trend setter can often present itself with insecurities, challenges, and sometimes even feelings of doubt. Don't fret! AU has several resources and connections to help make your college transition and experience as smooth as possible. Make sure to check the listings below for ways you can get involved with supporting yourself and your fellow peers. 

  • Register here for CDI's professional development workshop, Paving the Way: Working with First-Generation College Students.
  • Sign up for CDI's monthly First-Generation Focus e-newsletter and get the latest and greatest on tips to make the most out of your experience. Click here to sign up and learn more about ways to stay connected with the AU firs-gen community.
  • Share your story! Did you know that AU's 2014 incoming class was made up of 11% first-generation students?! It's easy to feel like you are the only one and that no one understands what you are going through.

CDI wants you to share you story as a first-generation college student here at AU with other students, faculty, and staff as a way to inspire and offer advice to the next generation. Upload your video, post your comments, or share relevant articles and advice on CDI's First-Generation Facebook group today!

Preparing for What's Next

Whether you are transitioning to AU or transitioning on from AU to the next chapter, planning your next steps are important.

How to Pay for School. Going hand in hand with academic success, college affordability is super important. No matter how little or big of an investment you are making in your college experience, financial literacy and organization will pay off. Become familiar with AU Central who will help answer questions specific questions regarding your student account. Also, remember to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application each year if you are seeking financial assistance for the next academic year. 

If you are preparing for life after AU, budgeting, financial literacy, and awareness are still key. Keep records of all necessary documents and read up on all the great resources that the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid offer to help minimize your student loan debt and repayment options.

Setting the Stage for Career Goals. Networking is an area where many first-generation students have minimal experience, but it all changes here at AU! By the time students walk across the stage, networking comes naturally. There are a host of campus resources that we encourage students to become familiar with throughout their time here at AU. AU's Career Center offers hands-on career advising and resume critiques that assist students with highlighting their involvement and skill sets. Opportunity exists, and their great advisors know where to find it!

Graduate School and Beyond. For the most part, identifying as a first-generation doesn't go away should you decide to pursue graduate studies after AU. Many students find themselves presented with the same emotions they experienced when they first entered their undergraduate studies. This time around, it's important to remind yourself of all the great accomplishments you've achieved thus far. This journey is just another first to add on and you'll do great! 

It's important to note that not all first-generation college student experiences are the same. CDI recognizes this and wants to encourage you to share your voice! If you have ideas for future programming or want to share feedback with CDI staff, the door is open to do so in a safe and welcoming space.

Additional Resources

First-Generation Workshop

Want to get more connected with AU's first-generation community? Get to know faculty and staff who identify as first in their family to attend college more in depth through shared experiences.

First-Generation Highlight


Have questions specific to first-generation college students? Well, we've got answers! Click here to read more about frequently asked questions associated with being the first in the family to attend college.


Connect with Camille

Camille Clark - CDI

I provide support and outreach to multicultural as well as first-generation college students, and would be glad to meet with you anytime! We could talk about your transition to AU, how to find resources on campus, how to be successful at AU, or any and everything about campus life.


Email CDI