First-Generation Programs

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 Are You a First Generation Student?

If neither of your parents/guardians have a bachelor's degree, then you’re a first-generation (first-gen) student even if you have a sibling who is attending college or graduating ahead of you. As a first-gen student you have what it takes to succeed, but sometimes financial, family, academic or work pressures can make the first-gen student experience particularly challenging.

There are many UofL faculty and staff who are first-generation college grads and serve as advocates and mentors to our first-gen students. If you're a first-gen faculty or staff member, let us know here!

Apply Now to These Success Programs

First-time freshmen new to UofL in Fall 2024 can apply now to 1st UP & READY Mentoring.

"1st UP allowed me to expand my knowledge about campus and day to day things that are needed. READY Mentoring allowed me interact with someone who could help me with exactly what I needed at that moment, expanding my knowledge about my major and what is to come from my classes as well as expectations."

Check out this program comparison.

  • 1st UP
    What does it take to be successful in college? That question is answered both inside and outside the classroom, as you take advantage of the many resources and opportunities UofL has to offer. 1st UP is a program that provides community-building socials with other first-gen students, workshops to develop your personal skills & strengths, and one-to-one coaching to help you start off strong. Plus, earn up to $800 toward your UofL bill!

  • READY Mentoring
    READY Mentoring matches first-generation, first-year students with UofL faculty and staff for one-to-one mentoring. Mentors can help ease your transition to college and discuss strategies for success in college and in life. And just like 1st UP, you can earn up to $800 toward your UofL bill!

Other Important Connection Points

  • First Year Experience Events & Resources
    Be sure to take advantage of the First Year Experience events (Welcome Week, Winter Welcome and more) and resources, such as the UofL Lingo list and First Year FAQ. There's a lot to do and to learn, and the First Year Experience team wants to make sure you're ready to take advantage of every opportunity have the support you need to de-mystify the ins and outs of college life.
  • TRIO Student Support Services
    TRIO helps low-income, first-generation college students and students with disabilities achieve a bachelors degree by offering students individual and group advising to foster positive study habits and academic success. They also offer a comfortable learning environment, financial counseling, leadership opportunities, cultural excursions, and academic workshops. Participation is free; learn more by clicking the link above.
  • Generation Cardinal Living-Learning Community
    You can take advantage of an enhanced and personalized learning experience by being part of a themed living community geared specifically toward first-gen students. Meet and take classes with other students who share this identity and gain additional support navigating the college transition. This community is housed in the state-of-the-art Belknap Village South residence hall.
  • Student Success Coordinators
    Student Success Coordinators are here to help you solve problems and develop solutions. Coordinators work collaboratively with faculty and other staff to provide guidance and support if you're experiencing academic, financial or personal difficulties. 
  • First-Generation Student Recognition
    The SSC celebrates all of UofL's first-gen students at the annual National First-Gen Student Celebration on or around November 8. In addition, fall and spring graduates receive an honor cord, which is a mark of distinction you may wear at Commencement and hold onto as a keepsake.

In the News

UofL Magazine, Summer 2023, On Solid Ground