The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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My Experience as a First-Generation College Student

Aaliyah sits on a bench with her mom and smiles on the campus of the University of Massachusetts

I am a first-generation college student. As defined by the Common Application Systems, this means that neither of my parents completed a baccalaureate degree. Nearly a third of undergraduate students in the United States are first-generation and here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, about 25 percent of the population of each entering class is first-generation, revealing that a majority of college students are not first-generation. This means that many college students likely have a parent or relative that understands the collegiate process firsthand and can provide mentorship throughout the student’s journey — a huge resource that many first-generation students lack. It is hard to navigate college and the difficulties that come with it on your own, especially when your own parents do not understand what it is like in your shoes. Being first-generation comes with many challenges and benefits. Here is what my experience has been like as a first-generation college student at UMass Amherst. 

Meet the Major: Fashion Marketing & Merchandising

Fashion Marketing student sitting on steps outside of UMass Campus Center on sunny September day.

Anneliese Vogt, a third year student here on campus, knew she always had an affinity for all things fashion. Never did she think, however, she’d be able to attend school for essentially every aspect of the field. To her surprise through UMass’s Bachelors Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC) she has been able to do exactly that.

Meet the Major: Architecture

Architecture student working on a model. Text: Meet the Major: Architecture

Meet Emma, a junior Architecture major and Building and Construction Technology minor here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Life as an architecture student here is a riveting experience packed with model building, software design, artistic expression, critical thinking, and an interactive classroom environment that prove to be great preparation for one’s career. Here is a glimpse of what life is like as an architecture student here at UMass Amherst from Emma’s perspective.

4 Steps for Writing a Great College Admission Essay

The University of Massachusetts suggests ideas for essays on the Common Application website

Your college essay is something that you should not only be proud of, but also something that you genuinely want to showcase to college admissions offices. The writing piece itself should display your character, goals, and accomplishments. When I was going through the process of writing mine, I struggled because I didn’t think I had a story good enough to tell. However, after really thinking it over, I finally curated a body of words that I am extremely proud of. Here is how I wrote my college essay. 

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