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.

This website seeks to provide first-generation students at the University of Michigan with resources, insight and inspiration that can help you thrive and succeed on campus as you pursue your degree.

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.

“If you are the first member of your family to attend college, I am proud to welcome you to our University of Michigan family! Thank you for choosing our university. Your talents and perspectives are making our campus a better and more vibrant educational environment. Good luck with your studies, and GO BLUE!“

– U-M President Mark S. Schlissel

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Famous First Gens

Many first-generation students have not only graduated from college, but gone on to do great things (and some changed the world).

Sonia Sotomayor: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Michelle Kwan: Olympic Figure Skater
Michelle Obama: 44th First Lady of the United States
Howard Schultz: Chairman and CEO of Starbucks
Colin Powell: 65th Secretary of State of the United States
Oprah Winfrey: Media Superstar
Bill Clinton: 42nd President of the United States