At UMass Amherst, we are pleased to welcome the many students who will be the first in their family to attain a 4-year bachelor's degree. As a university, we value the academic talent and unique voices this diverse group of students brings to our campus. We are excited to be a part of their journey as they become pioneers in their family.
It is our commitment to first-generation students that we provide a range of services and opportunities that support their progress from their initial semester through graduation. We encourage students to embrace their ability to achieve high levels of academic and career success as they make connections and develop a sense of belonging on campus.
A first-generation college student is one whose parent or guardian has not attained a bachelor's degree. In each entering class, about 25 percent of the population is first generation. We are proud to report that we also have many staff and faculty who were the first in their family to earn a bachelor’s degree, creating a sizable first-generation community on our campus.
To ensure that we recognize and support this valuable community of students, UMass Amherst offers a wide range of programs and services for our first-generation students. We have resources and activities coordinated by the university, colleges, and academic departments, and we offer a wide range of social and support groups across campus. Many events are designed to help students feel connected to each other as well as to the broader university community. We are confident that connections that students make at these events will develop into networks that will support them through their years at UMass Amherst and follow them beyond. Additional opportunities offer guidance and specific skills that are integral for college success.